Welcome to So mini waysYahoo Life education Series about the joys and challenges of raising children.
Some people have been baking banana bread during the pandemic. Diane Kruger has written a children’s book.
On Tuesday the German-born actress – best known for roles in Inglourious Basterds, Troy, the National Treasure movies & in the fading – released A name from heavena deeply personal children’s story in which Kruger recounts her own experiences growing up as a somewhat quirky misfit who never quite fitted in with the other kids in her small, rural German town.
The book emerged from lockdown, a time when the star – who shares 4-year-old daughter Nova Tennessee with fiancé Norman Reedus – has been able to reconnect with her mother and revisit old family histories.
“I worked in LA and my mother from Germany helped at Nova. The world closed in and weeks turned into months and I hadn’t spent as much time with my mom since I was probably 16 when I moved out.” Kruger tells Yahoo Life, citing her time getting into ballet as a young woman studied and modeled abroad. “And so we started talking about my childhood again … and we talked about the moment that really changed my life in a very meaningful way: When she told me the meaning of my name.”
Diane, explains Kruger, was an unusual name in Germany, which is why she was teased. Young Kruger also preferred reading books to playing with her peers and had a habit of walking to school while pulling a bunny rabbit’s leash. She felt odd and out of place until her mother shared the origin of her name: Diana, the Roman goddess of wild animals and the hunt. Something clicked for Kruger, who suddenly saw new possibilities and adventures for herself.
The book also tells how Kruger and Reedus decided on their own daughter’s name. While Tennessee dates from the time when the couple awaited birth amidst the majestic Smoky Mountains, Nova, Kruger writes, “is for the star that brings light to the darkest of nights, for the promise of new beginnings that each day holds.” “.
This “fresh start,” she adds, is especially meaningful because Kruger, now 46, was in her early 40s when she became a mother and had considered the possibility of not having a child at all. The actress has previously opened up about how she may have struggled with motherhood in her younger years.
“To be honest, I couldn’t have imagined having a child before,” says Kruger. “I toyed with the idea when I was in my late 30s; I just didn’t think it would be for me. And you know, Nova was a surprise. I mean I would have loved to have a kid but I thought I was too old to be honest and I was in a new relationship so we definitely didn’t want to have a baby. [But] Looking back I just feel so much peace and lightness and that the world gave me Nova when I least expected it but needed it the most. She was the greatest blessing in our lives.”
Now 4, the toddler is a mulan Devotee who loves Taekwondo and My Little Pony and is slowly getting used to the new bike she just got for her birthday. Like all parents, Kruger loves to talk about her child — but she’s strict about her daughter’s privacy when it comes to social media and the paparazzi. That 355 star doesn’t show her daughter’s face on Instagram and has called out photographers who are following her family. For the most part, she says, life as a public parent is “manageable,” but she has little tolerance for the invasive moments that make her feel unsafe.
“It’s so scary when you have grown men running after you when you’re holding a baby or pushing a stroller and they’re screaming and, you know, pushing things or jumping out of bushes,” she says. “And it’s scary for them. And it’s just so weird. I really want her to be innocent and I want her to explore life and the world without her every development being published in magazines. I didn’t know I would feel this way until I had them, but it’s really driving me crazy. I think we should protect our children, you know?”
Of course, Kruger isn’t the only cheeky name in her family. She laughs when asked if Reedus, who also has a grown son with supermodel Helena Christensen, gets the same questions about trying to find a work-life balance as a parent.
“Men are never asked these questions,” she says. “And in a way I can understand why too, because women – let’s face it – do all the heavy lifting most of the time. You know, I’m going shopping, I’m the one looking for school, if we go somewhere, I set the game dates, right? I just do as much every day as most moms do.
Still, she’s happy that her life as an actress and now as a writer gives her more freedom than most.
“Of course I’m privileged because I don’t work every day,” she notes. “I can do a movie and then I have a few weeks off, so I can be a stay-at-home mom.
“I feel a lot of guilt when I’m working,” she admits, noting that she just wrapped up a film shoot where workdays are typically 14 or 15 hours. “I feel awful not really being able to spend time with her. So it’s definitely not always easy. But the bonus is that she comes with me and I see her on the weekends and then we have a couple of weeks where I’m really just attached to her waist. It just is. And so she understands more and more and I think she’s excited. You know, she understands, ‘Mom’s almost done, and then it’s our time.’ And we’re very close.”
As a mom, Kruger says she’s an advocate of good manners, a regular bedtime, and keeping your word. In addition, she is “very, very liberal”.
“I want her to have wings,” she says. “If she wants pink hair, she can have pink hair. She wants to, you know, buy a costume because she’s that person for the week, we can do that. I want to stimulate their imagination as much as possible. “
A mother and daughter’s favorite ritual is to visit a bookstore on Sundays to pick out some new reading. But what’s stopping Nova from appearing in her mom’s new children’s book?
“It’s very close to home for her,” says Kruger, adding with a laugh that this is the first time she’s read the book to her daughter. Nova “called me a goddess.”
“She says, ‘Mom, you’re not a goddess.’ And she had a bit of a meltdown over the choice of dress the illustrator had [Christa Unzner] ended up dressing her in the blue dress and red shoes. Because she hates red, and how could I ever let that happen?” she giggles.
But the little girl is understandably “very protective” now. A name from heaven.
“I’ve been on this book tour for a while and I’m like, ‘Well, Mom’s going to talk about your book,'” Kruger shares. “The first time she cried a lot and said, ‘Please don’t sell my book. it’s my book It’s my story.’ It’s really cute.”
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