Ho ho ho $an_vorname$
I have heard, Christmas is coming…
But this year we don’t have a Christmas story, but one from life.
My beloved mom, probably better known as Silke or Frau Böttcher, teaches two sports classes in her spare time. The target groups could hardly be more different: one time it’s frenetically screaming children up to 11 and the other time it’s rather rolling than walking ladies from the age of 70. The interesting thing about this combination is that both courses are in directly one after another – first the children, then the old ladies.
Starting at noon, my mother sits at her desk and works out her exercise classes in fine detail on index cards. With ease for back and joints for the elderly, wild and untamed for the kiddies.
Lately, I’ve been home more often and have had the honor of helping her execute them. The first few times I just did what I was told: Do this, get that, roll backwards and do a somersault. I think everyone knows what it’s like when (a) mom gives instructions. As time went by, I noticed more and more that my mother follows her prefabricated plan, after task 1 comes task 2, without consciously looking at what really comes next.
After two weeks of helping, I, little devil, wanting to test out how long it takes to notice, blithely switched the two sports lessons. I mean, everyone would have assumed that it would become obvious after the first few exercises, right? Apparently not…
The children looked a bit irritated when instead of wild courses and balls, a circle of 20 chairs welcomed them. “What are we doing today Mrs. Bööööööttcher, that looks funny,” resounded in bright children’s voices through the gym. They were even more surprised when the warm-up began with slow wrist circles. Some children made their displeasure known with loud “Can’t we play catch like last weeeeeeeeeeeek??”. But my mom, with an imperturbability like once Sisyphus before the morning climb, explained that arm circles should be done slowly, otherwise there could be difficulties with arthritis.
AT LEAST NOW IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTICED, RIGHT? Well… no… but let’s go on with the story. Despite a few small incidents, I have never seen the children so calm. Even Leon, who is usually quite aggressive, rocked from heel to ball as if he had never seen a rocking horse in his life. The dwarves actually seemed to enjoy it… and so the time passed surprisingly quickly. At the end of the lesson, my mom asked me to hand out the usual shot…

It seems like the joke is going a little too far, but let’s see ….
“Mom, are you sure about this?”, I asked slightly confused and worried. “Yeah sure, we always do it like that,” was the answer.
Well, they are not my children … the parents are certainly happy when their little ones go to bed a little earlier than usual … so I cheerfully distributed shots. Maybritt got plum liquor, Anton a fig and the normally so annoying Leon a coffee cream shot (a shot, where even the hazardous waste is disgusted). The children stumbled a bit at first, but then went along surprisingly well. Leon staggered a little afterwards, Maybritt almost threw up… but only almost… come on… it was only one…
The children left the hall one after the other. With some, one noticed the alcohol consumption surprisingly strongly, because they slurred a “beatfl evng Mrs Böttchle” out.

I watched the spectacle with the greatest pleasure, while my mother was already busy with the preparations for the second lesson.
Today on the agenda: a round of dodgeball to warm up and then an obstacle course à la US Army. Honestly, who could have guessed that two groups of 10 women, to whom I would normally carry the shopping home, would pounce on each other like animals. 86-year-old Hildegard, with a crutch in her hand, dodged the ball – even Neo would have looked up – and threw the ball into 77-year-old Ute’s face in one fluid motion. The fact that Hildegard nearly dislocated her shoulder in the process was lost in the resounding laughter of both teams. The match was more entertaining than many soccer matches and more resembled a wrestling cage match. Annoyed that she had been hit, Birgit, who is only 91 years old, put Gertrud in a headlock and yelled, “YOU’LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!” Only with a lot of effort and distress could Mama and I get the two quarreling hens apart and prevent the incipient fistfight of both teams. When Berta threw her whole rollator instead of a ball, the situation escalated. The result: a broken cheekbone (Gertrud did it again…), two sprained arms, three nosebleeds and some minor aches and pains. I looked at my mom, now it must be obvious.
No, it wasn’t. More strict than usual mom reprimanded the ladies to be quite as if they had just started school, “SILENCE AND GO TO THE START OF THE PARCOUR BUT FAST!”
“Silke are you sure we have to go up the rope?” stammered Elfriede facing a course that would have stalled even a Ninja Warrior. Mom just nodded…
Snail-like, heck, I don’t even need the comparison, Elfriede pulled herself up a 6-meter rope like an 86-year-old. Her greatest difficulty was not even the rope itself but pulling the 11 kg rollator along on one hand while holding the rope with the other. After meter 2, the chants of the others started: “ELFRIEDE, ELFRIEDE, ELFRIEDE”. I’m not sure if they were doing it out of sympathy or to get ahead, since my mom had made abundantly clear that that everyone must complete the course once before going home. At meter 4, they had to start swinging slightly to reach a plateau 2 meters away. Elfriede still managed to hoist the walker onto the next surface when she simply ran out of strength at a dizzying height. The crowd screamed loudly in relief when Elfriede landed in my arms …
“Mom – I gotta confess something…”
Hello, my name is Lucas, 27. I had to spend the evening in my room, without dinner of course… but it was still worth it, wasn’t it ;-).

Of course, the story is fictitious, except for the fact that my mother is in charge of these two sports groups… but every time I see my mother preparing… I wonder :”What if?”
I wish you a wonderful, joyful and relaxing pre-Christmas season, harmonious, relaxed and happy Christmas days and a good start into a great new year full of sunshine.