Alexander Rybak has a very special relationship to his mom
Regardless of how busy Alexander Rybak (26) is, he always puts his soul into the Christmas gifts for his mom Natalia (53). Mother and son have a very close relationship.
– She is the most important person in my life, he says.
Article in the paper issue of the Norwegian weekly magazine “Hjemmet”, published on 3.12.2012. Text: Hans Petter Treider
Photo: Jørn Grønlund
Found and translated by Jorunn Ekre and Tessa La. English revision by Lillian Llewellyn and Anni Jowett.
– Do you wonder when I’m most happy? Natalia Rybak repeats while she smiles widely. Then she turns around and looks at her son who is sitting next to her. My answer is probably the same as with all mothers: I am most happy when my child is happy. It means everything that Alexander is doing well, Natalia says and gives her son a big hug.
It was not only Alexander Rybak who had his life turned upside down after he won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. His mom`s life did too. Naturally she was filled with joy, but also anxiety. Thinking of all the dangers…
After winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the highest score ever, Alexander has kept his place among the stars, and nowadays Europe is his stage. Mom is more relaxed now. She understands that Alexander can handle it. And Alexander feels he is in control. Now he is of current interest with the Christmas album “Christmas Tales”. He looks forward to the pre-Christmas time.
Even if it’s only a 30 minutes boat trip that separates mom and son, mom lives at Nesodden, while Alexander has an apartment at Aker Brygge in Oslo, they don’t exactly show up at each other’s door step all the time. They keep in touch by phone.
Alexander’s busy schedule makes it sometimes difficult to keep a long conversation. Now and then mom has to make do with a text message. She has become good at interpreting the sentences that pop up.
–He doesn’t have to write much before I understand how he is doing. I can tell what mood he is in by the number of smileys, Natalia explains.
But Alexander knows mom is there for him. And mom knows that Alexander knows how to behave.
Mom and Dad Igor are the most important people in the world to Alexander. They are concerned with other values than ranks on charts and commercial success.
– Mom is trusting and that trust has become bigger and bigger. I know I can rely on her, Alexander says. When it comes to music, Natalia is among the first people who gets to hear new songs.
–I can tell right away from the look on her face what she thinks,- says the competent musician smiling, who thinks it over thoroughly when he is asked to describe his mom with a few words.
– Mom is caring and emphatic. Not overprotective, and she let’s me solve problems on my own. She used to talk a lot, and she practises to talk less. She has become better at that, Alexander laughs.
Busy Christmas eve:
While Mom Natalia is a pianist, Dad Igor is a violinist. Alexander started playing both the violin and the piano when he was five and a half years old, the year after the family moved from Belarus to Nesodden.
His childhood Christmas Eves in Norway were hectic. Mom, Dad and Alexander performed at several services. The person who was finished first, went home and took care of the pork ribs. That included Alexander as well. He was conscientious also in the kitchen, and he made his parents happy with crisp pork rind when the small family finally could gather at the dinner table.
Often times there were CD’s with classical music inside the gift wrap. But he also enjoyed getting football cards and basketball cards. Alexander was an avid collector. But TV-games, that were on the top of his wish list, he never got. He had to fix that some other way.
– Every week I was given money to buy candy for Saturday. But I didn’t spend it. I secretly saved it. Eventually I could afford the TV-games, and I bought them, Alexander remembers. And Natalia confirms the story. Diplomatically she tells how she reacted when she found out what Alexander had done. It wasn’t exactly the best news I could get, Natalia smiles.
STARTED EARLY: Alexander (9 years old) plays the violin, while mom plays the piano at a local event in 1996.
Even if almost four years has passed since Fairytale, Natalia is still anxious when her son is traveling.
– Lot’s of things can happen. There are different countries all the time, different rules, schedules to keep. If I send a text message and I don’t get a reply, I easily get anxious, Natalia admits.
– I have become quite experienced when it comes to traveling, Alexander reassures… and adds that he packs his suitcase in ten minutes.
– And that worries me… Ten minutes is too little time. You can forget things. But this is what it’s like being a mother, always something to be worried about. But I don’t transmit my anxiety to Alexander. I keep it to myself, Natalia explains.
As usual she was the first person who got to listen to a sample of Alexander’s new CD , and she is happy for him. Now there will be a long pre-Christmas tour before the holidays begin. Regardless of how busy Alexander is, he always puts his soul into finding suitable Christmas gifts. But mom got the greatest gift from Alexander when he was a child.
– He had drawn a cat, and he wrote below it: “If I had nine lives, I’d give them all to you.” That says it all about Alexander. He is so kind, so kind, mom Natalia smiles.