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Last week I wrote about my everyday balance, which is pretty much allright, but to be honest, sometimes it can be quite a bit of a puzzle with the calendars of the smallest Schaepmannetjes. Every Saturday at the Larensche Mixed Hockeyclub I run back and forth between the fields where Valentine, Veronique and Charlie fanatically go for the victory with their teams (if those matches are at the same time, it doesn't matter how good you can plan, your whole schedule comes down at once…).


I love to spend time with the children. Looking back at my own childhood, my father playfully coached me early on and prepared me for life. I learned the intricacies of the trade from him; he was the one and only networker of the south of the country. He taught me everything about speaking, now more or less the core of my skills, for which I am very grateful.


As parents we are actually all preparing our children for their adult lives. I myself learned all about networking and doing business from my father, but I try to coach my children in a broader way, and I also teach them all kinds of things in the fields of sports, music, nutrition, art and culture. We regularly visit a museum, research together which sports and musical instruments they like best (besides hockey I'm also busy with horses, kickboxing, drumming and so on), and of course we're talking about the future.


‘Isn't that a little early, Ed?’, I hear you thinking. But I believe that it’s never too early to start thinking about what’s ahead. So, I visited the open house of the Tergooi hospital with Veroniqueje, who likes the idea of a medical career, and we visited numerous secondary schools (only one year to go until she will be the first to take off with a large backpack). But just like my father coached me, I am also preparing them for speaking in public. In restaurants we’re giving table speeches, and the children tap their glasses enthusiastically in turn to tell a story. We practice lectures together, and we give tips and tops and it’s great to see how everyone starts to develop their own interests. Veroniqueje, for example, is interested in fashion city Paris, Valentine wants to tell about her favourite book, and even Charlie comes up with topics for the lecture that he doesn’t have to do yet at all.


Currently the newest hero-tribe of Tribes Brussels Central Station has his interest; the Bajau from the Philippines and Indonesia. I completely understand, because it's a special one! These people live on the ocean, and become 'landsick' ashore, as we become seasick on the water. He finds it fascinating, and proudly tells his sisters what he has learned: the Bajau men can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes, and every boy learns that from his father early on. For generations, the secrets of diving and from the ocean have been passed on from father to son. It’s a tribe where everything revolves around parenthood, and the special parent-son relationship in particular.


I'm terribly proud of all my children, and I love to see how they all carry that piece of Schaepman's DNA, with a loud voice coming straight out of the heart. But I see a bit of myself in my little man, who at such a young age is already developing a passion for speaking! And since he is so eager to give a lecture, it seemed to me that the opening of Tribes Brussels Central Station, in the style of the Bajau, is a perfect moment to hand over my opening speech for once. Indeed, to mini-me, who cannot wait until the day has come!


PS: Of course, we’ll both be dressed in matching suits!

PSS: Please register at to attend the opening of Tribes Brussels Central Station on 26 April from 5 p.m.!