Michaela Merz


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725911_original_R_K_B_by_Lupo_pixelio.deI know it. As a child I suffered terribly from it. The ritual repeated itself every year. In winter my mother asked me whether I would like to go so the children’s summer camp in summer. I wanted to and said yes. Shortly afterwards doubts started to trouble me whether it had been the right decision. I know that I would be homesick as every year. It started troubling me in February and thinking of it made me feel unwell. But I never dared to tell my parents because I was embarrassed. On the day before the departure it was almost unbearable. Every time I considered pretending being sick in order to avoid having to go, but usually I was already ashamed for thinking of it. There was no speaking of anticipation. It was pure horror.

On the day of the departure I started the trip with heavy heart. No, I never cried. Crying in public, that was something for weaklings and did not want to belong to them. On the day of the departure I felt really bad. I imagined the long two to three weeks away from home and my energy level was down to zero. I must have appeared strange. Introverted, hardly accessible from outside. All this as expression of homesickness. Every now and then I cried, secretly and hidden. If someone discovered me, I always told a white lie. The hammer had fallen on my finger or I had fallen into the nettles and it was hurting. The longer the summer camp went, the more I flourished. In the last days I usually had turned to a joy and energy radiating being. I knew I would be home soon. Thus the last week was usually wonderful. Consequently the impression always remained that it had been great and when my mother asked me in winter whether I wanted to go to the summer camp, I said yes. What I never understood were the children who started crying in the last week. God, they would be home in a few days, why do they cry now!!!

I learned that to a large extent it depends on oneself. It is really true that everyone is responsible for one’s own luck.

Now my little one took a friend with him in the short holidays. And that friend started to cry terribly on the first evening because of homesickness. I understood him and thought I could help him. And then I had the idea. I told them a very long story about the knight Jaroslav who was so popular that the king was afraid of him and thus had him imprisoned with an iron mask in a castle. But he had not thought of the knight’s wife Kunihunda who disguised herself and searched for her husband. After many adventures she found the castle, had an imprint of the key of the prison cell burnt on her skin so that the locksmith would be able to make a copy of the key. She thus liberated her husband with whom she then brought the king to downfall.

The two boys listened carefully and hung on my lips. Because such stories help wonderfully against homesickness. Afterwards we agreed that on the next day we would visit the castle to see everything with our own eyes. The homesickness was like blown away.

From then on I had to think of an exciting story every evening in order to hold homesickness in bay. And it worked well indeed.

Bildquelle: Lupo / pixelio.de

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