We requested no gifts for Anneke’s 2nd Birthday. She doesn’t need anything and the fact that people took time out of their afternoon to come and help celebrate was special enough.
My cousin Wilma asked, if in lieu of the gift, could she please take Anneke to the zoo. Every Friday she looks after my cousin Martin’s little boy Roan (3) so we could all go together.
Anneke and Roan had a wonderful time (as of course, so did I). The sun was shining and the flowers were out. The Artis Zoo is a ‘city zoo’, it’s located in the heart of Amsterdam. I was, admittedly, surprised at how beautiful it was.
The kids ran and ran (with a couple of spills) and were appropriately impressed with the animals. Anneke blew kisses to the monkeys, gave them all names and then blew kisses when we left.
What was super special, was watching the relationship between Anneke and Roan grow. When I was younger, his father, Martin was always keeping an eye over me. He looked after me and entertained me when I’d visit Holland. Martin’s mother passed away only a few months after my own. We were able to talk to each other and lean on each other. Even whilst we were miles apart, we were lucky enough to be close.
|Martin and I (1979) I blame my mother for that haircut.|