Photo Collage: Priscilla Obermeier

‘On the page’ has always been my happy place. Here, you'll find me talking to my characters about their plot and place. Or write down that impossible thought before breakfast and all the little things that add a bit of happily to the everyday. It's where I share my observations, musings, and rants about writing, raising a third-culture city kid around the world, mixed-marriage misunderstandings, being an introverted intercountry adoptee without any sense of belonging (or direction). And ponder about the things I should have said but didn’t, and the things that sounded like a good idea at the time, but really weren’t. Mostly, it’s where I am when I’m going where I have never been before.

Location: Dubai

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I can’t help but dive into my box of MOMeries. What a whirlwind ride my “party of mom” has been so far! Markus and I named Indy after Indiana Jones because we wanted his life to be an adventure, and nomen truly est omen! The moment Indy was born, we quite literally followed the path less traveled, as we moved from Amsterdam to Los Angeles to Berlin to Milan to Vienna to Dubai, visited New York, Qatar, Paris, Venice, Rome, Boston, Jakarta, Bali, Antwerp, Washington D.C., and so many other wonderful cities that opened our hearts and minds to the beauty in the world (and its people). Knowing that the one thing that made Indy fall asleep was a very specific horse-like hop, Markus and I hopped through isles on planes, trains, and boats with Indy hanging on our chest in his Baby Bjorn, and we could fold a Stokke stroller in less than 45 seconds to get it through airport security, in the back of a cab, on a bus or boat. Insert mommy mic-drop.  

December 2009, holding baby Indy at Zuma Beach in Malibu / Photo: Markus Obermeier

Although still as adventurous as ever, my mom-life has changed on so many levels. Indy, a little baby boy with tiny hands that liked to grab my hair/earrings/fingers turned loud toddler who liked to sing and dance turned curious pre-schooler with a love for trucks and dinosaurs turned a slightly sarcastic eleven year old giant who talks about space and the deep ocean, binge-reads Stephen Hawking and Star Wars books, and loves science, social studies, watching movies (the ones with Melissa McCarthy and Kevin Hart are favorites), and playing VR and video games. He’s a true third-culture kid, embracing everywhere and being of nowhere in particular. To watch Indy grow into each new stage of his life is a tremendous joy. At the same time, it is a continuous saying goodbye to the boy he was before. 


Over the years, I noted down the things Indy said that made me and Markus stop dead in our tracks, and I couldn’t be more happy about it. As we will continue to grow up together, me as his mom, he as the super-hero and wonderful soul he was, is, and will be, these little notes are like taking a trip through time, back into those intimate and at times laugh-out-loud moments that have come to define the blessings of being mom. 


Each and single one of Indy’s statements taught me an important life-lesson. I like to call them Indy’s hugely useful, super-important basic essentials of life. 


Berlin, 2012 (age 3)


Indy: “I’m Batman!” 

Indy to Me: “Mommy, you are a Jedi!”  

Markus: “Who am I?”

Indy: “A fish.”

Markus: “A FISH? You mean like a big white shark?”

Indy: “No. A fish.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime; tell a man he IS a fish and he will ponder for years to come why he is one. 


Berlin, 2014 (age 4) 


Indy: “Why is my name Indy?”

Me: (excited voice) “Because daddy and I wanted your life to be an adventure, and we loved several movies about an adventurer, whose name is Indiana Jones. He was a professor, an archeologist and he also searched the world for treasure. He conquered many bad guys and lived his life doing what he loved. His closest friends called him Indy. We named you after him.”

Indy: (sighs) “But…WHY is my name Indy?”

Me: “Wait, what?” (Looks at Markus)

Markus : (without looking up from his book, in monotone voice) “Because one day Superman and Spider-Man sat together and asked each other what the name of the next Super-Hero was going to be. They decided it would be Indy.”

Indy: “Ah. Okay!” (happily walks away)


Indy’s Life Essential: If you don’t like your story, change it. Preferably into an epic mixture of Marvel & DC. 


Berlin, 2017 (age 6)


Indy: “Mommy? Can I give you a tip?”

Me: “Yes. Please.”

Indy: “If you ever turn into the Hulk, remember to go through a wall with your shoulder first. Never with your head.”

Me: “Good tip. Thanks, dude.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Share your wisdom. Especially when it helps others smash walls.


Berlin, 2016 (age 6)


Indy walks into Markus’ office. 

Indy: “Did you call me?”

Markus: “No, I didn’t.”

Indy: “Hmm. Maybe you don’t remember?”

Markus: “No. Really, I didn’t call you.”

Indy: “Well, I’m here now, so what are we gonna do about it?”


Indy’s Life Essential: Stand your ground. Even when your feet are little.

Little feet, standing their ground. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Washington D.C., 2016 (age 5) 



Markus: “Can I have a sip of water?”

Indy: “No.”

Markus: “Why not?”

Indy: “I don’t like that you drink from my bottle. Bacterias.”

Markus: … “But …I bought it for both of us.”

Indy: “You can pay for a sip.”

Markus: “You want me to pay for a sip of water from the bottle that I bought?”

Indy: “Yes. But no coins. Paper, please.”

….. Awkward silence…..

Markus: “Would two dollars be okay?”


Indy’s Life Essential: Think in solutions. Especially profitable ones.

#tbt Washington D.C., 2016. Negotiations gone wrong for Markus. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Berlin, 2015 (age 5) 


In the metro. 

Indy: “Guys? I’m starving. I’m not fit anymore. I’m dry. I’m a dried out human.”


Indy’s Life Essential: You’re not you when you’re dry. 

#tbt You can’t have a good mood when you’re dry. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Berlin, 2016 (age 6)


At a FREDERICK & SOPHIE photoshoot

Photographer S.: (to Indy) “What are you playing with?”

Indy: “Transformers.”

Photographer S.: “Can I see?”

Indy: “You touch them, I’ll sue you.”

Photographer S.: *looks at Markus* …

Markus: “That’s his mom’s influence.”


Indy’s Life Essential: The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. – Sun Tzu

#tbt Breakfast with Autobots in Venice / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

When he couldn’t pronounce the TR sound yet and turned it into an F:


Berlin, 2013 (age 3) 


A big TRUCK passes the bus we’re in. 

Indy: (points at window, jumps up and down) “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!”

Me: (slides down on seat) “Sssssssshhhhh.”



Berlin, 2014 (age 4) 


Indy: “Guys? Today I want to be called Chuck the Fuck.”

Me: ”What? You mean Chuck the FROG?”

Indy: “No. I said Chuck the Fuck.”

Me: “What about… Another name?”

Markus: “Yes, what happened to R. Toodles?” (FYI: Indy’s previous name of choice)

Indy: “No. It’s Chuck the Fuck, I said it first, it’s a deal!”


Indy’s Life Essential: Phonics matter. Also, when it comes to being mom, dignity has got nothing to do with it.


Berlin, 2015 (age 6)


Indy: “Mommy and Daddy, I want my name to be Harry Osborn, so that instead of saying, “Hi, I’m Indy Obermeier,” I can say, “Hi, I’m Harry Osborn.” 


Indy’s Life Essential: Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. You do you, green goblin, you do you.


London, Heathrow Airport, 2018 (age 8)


On our way to New York. In the cockpit. 


Indy: “What if this button doesn’t work?”

Pilot: “Then we have this button.”

Indy: “And if that button doesn’t work?”

Pilot: “Then we have this button.”

Indy: “And if nothing works?”

Pilot: “Then we still have this compass.”

Indy: “But what if the compass doesn’t work?”

Pilot: “Well….Then we’ll have a very bad day.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Ask questions. And know how to turn a paper bag and a fork into a parachute. 

#tbt Cockpit talk. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Berlin, 2016 (age 6) 


At the front door’s mail slot.

Indy: “What’s the password?”

Me: “Love.”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “Bikini Bottom.”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “Dosvedanja.”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “Mommy rocks.”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “Superhero squad.”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “I don’t know. Can I just come in?”

Indy: “No.”

Me: “Dude. I seriously don’t know. Please. Let me in.”

Indy: “No.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Know the password. 

#tbt What’s the password? / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Berlin 2016 (age 5)


Indy: “Mommy!! I need kisses!”

Me: (runs into living room) “What happened?!’ What’s up?”

Indy: (shows big red spot on his cheek) “I hit myself.”

Me: “Why?!!!”

Indy: “Because I wanted to know what it feels like.”

Me: “Oh…Okay. And? How does it feel?”

Indy: “It hurts, I don’t like it.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Try.


Milan, 2017 (age 7) 


Me: “What should I ask Santa to bring me this year?”

Indy: “A ring with lots of diamonds, a really big house, a baby reindeer.”

Me: (to Markus) “I was going to ask for a book.”


Indy’s Life Essential: Don’t be afraid to ask for it. 


Berlin, 2015 (age 5)

Indy: “Mommy can I say something in your ear?”

Me: “Sure.”

Indy: (whispers) “You are the most beautiful and coolest flower and monster truck mommy in the whole world.”

Me: “Thank you Indy! That’s awesome. In the whole world?”

Indy: “Yes. And in Bikini Bottom*.”


*As in the undersea city where SpongeBob and his friends live. Not.. Billabong.


Indy’s Life Essential: When you love somebody, you’re supposed to tell them.

#tbt Watching Spongebob like a boss./ Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Milan, 2017 (age 7)


Indy: “Mommy, we are a colored family.”

Me: “We sure are… there’s brown, beige and white….”

Indy: “And black, and red, and green.”

Me: “Really?”

Indy: “Yes. You’re brown, I’m beige, daddy is white, we have red lips, you have black hair, and we have brown eyes, and daddy has green eyes and around our eyes it’s white.”


Indy’s Life Essential: The colors of humanity are simply wonderful. 

#tbt One colorful family. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

Some things I said to Indy that I never thought I would ever say to another human being:


1. Stop putting that fork in your leg, please! 

#tbt The one with the fork. / Photo: Priscilla Obermeier

2. Are you pooping, or are you just standing behind the curtain?

3. Stop biting me! (or: Stop biting your dad!)

4. Maybe we should catch the dinosaurs, put them in this plastic bucket, and throw them out of the window?!

5. Why don’t I ever get to be Bumblebee? (the Transformer)

6. Yes. Yes. Yes. You are a banana. I’m sorry (for calling him otherwise).


Biggest Lesson of all? The joy of motherhood comes in moments. Mom-life is a party that travels at the speed of light. Wear your party pants and take notes.


Happy Wonderful Mother’s Day! May it be a splendid party of mom.