Living In The Moment
Since the powerful video Frans compiled was uploaded to the internet, it has garnered millions of views. His daughter Lotte, now 18-years-old, and his son Vince, now 14-years-old, couldn’t believe the final product. “I think the reception has been so strong because the film speaks to people. It carries a message about living your life, and enjoying every moment of having your children with you,” said Hofmeester.
Keeping Memories Intact
As children grow up, many parents struggle to preserve the memories they have of their kids as babies and toddlers. When Frans Hofmeester, a Dutch filmmaker, was faced with this dilemma, he came up with a solution by using his creativity. “When Lotte was born, she was changing at such a rapid pace,” Hofmeester said in an interview. “I was desperate to keep the memories intact.” When he first embarked on the project, Hofmeester had no idea just how many people he would touch.
A Bright-Eyed Baby Girl
This video clip was filmed not long after Lotte Hofmeester came into this world back in 1999. At this point, everything was brand new for baby Lotte. Lotte, who was just a couple months old for this shot, appears to be caught slightly off guard by her dad’s video camera. It turns out that even babies aren’t fans of early mornings! At least the wide-eyed Lotte was wearing her adorable turquoise PJs, matching her green eyes, for this clip.
All Bundled Up
Fast forward several months and this is what you get: a one-year-old Lotte all bundled up for winter in the Netherlands. The most obvious difference in this shot is her hair. Her gorgeous blonde locks are clearly on their way. It won’t be long before daddy is bringing little Lotte to her first day of preschool! Time has certainly flown by for Frans Hofmeester, but the young father couldn’t be more proud of his adorable baby girl!
A Messy Eater
Lotte is officially a toddler, which means two things. First, her hair has grown in quite nicely. Second, she no longer needs her daddy to help her eat breakfast in the morning. That being said, she could still use a helping hand every so often. For example, on this day she ate pancakes with maple syrup and accidentally got some syrup on her cheeks. It’s only a matter of time before she masters the art of using a napkin.
Being a toddler can be hard. At this stage in her life, Lotte has gained a fair amount of independence, but she is still coming to terms with the fact that she is a child, and she can’t always get what she wants, no matter how big of a temper tantrum she throws. For example, right before this clip was filmed, the three-year-old Lotte asked for a pony. When Frans told her no, this was the face she made.
A whole year has passed since the pony incident and a young Lotte is still learning the harsh lessons of life through the eyes of a toddler. This time, Lotte was told that she wouldn’t be allowed to eat her ice cream until she finished all of her vegetables. We’ve all been there. Lucky for Frans, it won’t be long before Lotte learns that crying, screaming, and yelling won’t get her very far. Despite her tantrums, Frans still loves his little girl more than anything.
A Baby Brother
Lotte’s little brother, Vince, was born in 2003. By the looks of it, Vince wasn’t too happy that his father interrupted his nap time by putting a camera in his face. Lotte will have a lot to get used to now that she’s a big sister. Frans was just happy to welcome a healthy baby boy into this world. Even though Lotte is growing up faster than Frans would like, at least he now has another baby under his roof.
A New Role
Lotte is now five-years-old. She is a proud big sister to her baby brother, Vince, and she has matured quite a bit since her temper tantrum phase. She now understands that, as a big sister, she has an important responsibility to set a proper example for baby Vince, and she’s learned the value of patience. Lotte now knows that she won’t always get exactly what she wants. Her hair has also grown to the point where she can sport a pair of pigtails.
One Calm Baby
Vince is now a one-year-old and is as calm as ever. Maybe he just woke up, or perhaps this is merely his natural temperament. In any case, Frans is probably happy to have such a relaxed and chilled-out second child. Like his big sister, Vince has a full head of blonde hair growing in quite nicely. Also, he’s got the same green eyes as Lotte. Frans can already tell that these blond-haired, green-eyed siblings will always be there for each other.
Visits From The Tooth Fairy
Frans can’t believe how fast Lotte is growing up! At seven years old, his daughter is now excelling in school and making new friends each and every day. She has recently taken up gymnastics and is working hard to perfect her back handspring. With her positive attitude and motivation, it won’t be long until she’s taking home the gold! Judging by her smile, it’s pretty evident that Lotte has developed a close relationship with the tooth fairy at this point.
At two years old, Vince is still as calm as ever. With his chubby cheeks and big green eyes, he doesn’t need to work hard for Frans’s affection. While you might think that Lotte and Vince would have issues dealing with dividing up their parents’ attention evenly, Lotte has actually responded well to her little brother and has really embraced her role as big sister. Likewise, Vince looks up to his big sister and loves spending time with the whole family.
When Lotte turned nine, she decided the time had come for a stylish new haircut. The teeth she had lost the last time we checked up on her have now grown back to completion. She worked hard in gymnastics and eventually mastered the back handspring, along with a whole slew of other maneuvers. As she approaches the end of elementary school, Frans is excited about what the future holds for his baby girl (who is almost all grown up!).
Taking After Big Sis
In this shot, we see Vince as a toddler. He has followed in his sister’s footsteps in more ways than one. Just like his big sis, Vince also has an incredible amount of independence for his age, and, just like his big sis, Vince also struggles when it comes to getting his fork to land in his mouth. This image was captured not long after young Vince indulged in some chocolate cake. Don’t worry; a napkin was applied right after the camera turned off.
True To Herself
Lotte is now 11-years-old and getting ready for the transition from elementary school to middle school. Lotte’s life is changing in many different ways, and she is taking everything in stride. While her social priorities might be a bit different than what they were a few years ago, Lotte has remained true to herself and the values which Frans instilled in her from a young age. There’s nothing that will stand in her way of success and happiness!
An Engineer In The Making
At six-years-old, there’s nothing Vince loves more in this world than his lego set. He plays with them every single morning, afternoon, and night. Frans often needs to scold him to drop the legos and get to bed. As demonstrated in this short clip, Vince also likes to stick them in his mouth! Frans is convinced that his son will grow up to be an engineer, but Vince won’t need to worry about that for a while, so for now, he’ll stick to his legos.
No More Chewing Legos
Vince apparently chewed on his legos one too many times, and ended up losing his one of his front teeth! It’s a good thing that it was only a baby tooth because otherwise, Frans would have been a little upset with an unnecessary dental bill. Regardless, at 7-years-old, Vince is thriving. He’s now the smartest kid in his class and recently started skateboarding as a hobby. Papa Frans couldn’t be more proud of his blonde-haired green-eyed boy.
Leading The Way
She’s officially in middle school! Lotte has come into her own and is thriving both in and out of the classroom. Her favorite subjects in school are math and science. Lotte has made the honor roll for two years straight and has even started taking accelerated learning classes! She’s switched from gymnastics to cheerleading, where she was voted team captain during her first year on the squad. She is a natural leader and the perfect role model for her younger brother!
A Fitting Hair Style
On this morning, Frans caught Vince just as he had gotten out of the shower. Vince was in a rush to get to school on time, so he didn’t have a whole lot of time to sit and chat with the camera. At 9-years-old, Vince is beginning to lose his boyish facial features but still refuses to give up on his rebellious long hair-cut. Considering he has excelled in his newfound passion of skateboarding, his look is pretty appropriate.
Hats Off To Vince
For his tenth birthday, Vince got a brand new Vans hat to match his skater look perfectly. Even though Frans keeps pestering Vince to cut his hair, Vince continues to shrug off his father’s suggestions. This is partly because all of Vince’s friends sport the same shaggy hair and, at this age, Vince cares a lot about fitting in. Even though Frans disagrees, Lotte actually thinks the long hair looks good on Vince. Maybe next year Frans will get what he wants.
Just a few short months after her thirteenth birthday, Lotte received the news that every 13-year-old girl dreads – she was going to need braces. Even though her younger brother often teases her, calling her names like “metal mouth” and “brace face,” Lotte refuses to let some silly insults bring her down. She knows that her braces are only temporary, and besides, most of her friends also got braces this year anyways. Nothing will stop this girl from smiling!
Middle School Prep
Still sporting his Vans hat from the year before, Vince finally decided to take his father’s advice and cut his hair. Even though he still looks like a kid, Vince is beginning to show some subtle signs of maturity. As he gets ready for middle school, Vince is slowly but surely figuring out the man he wants to become. Lucky for him, he’s got some great role models in Lotte and Frans to help him out every step of the way.
No Sophomore Slump Here!
After just a couple years of living with braces, Lotte is finally sporting a straight, metal-free smile. She’s 15-years-old and ready to take on the world. A sophomore in high school, Lotte has maintained a good relationship with both her friends as well as her family. Sure she has her days where she wants nothing more than to lock herself in her room and blast some Avril Lavigne (because Avril is the only one who really gets her), but overall, she’s doing great!
Becoming A Gentleman
Here we see Vince at 13-years-old. He has officially lost the skater hat and upgraded his hair with some useful hair product. We think the new look suits him well. We can also assume that Vince has hit a growth spurt, causing his face to appear much trimmer and more mature. Vince is well on his way to adulthood. While Frans will undoubtedly miss the little boy Vince once was, he is also happy to see him growing up into a fine young gentleman.
In this shot, Lotte is 16-years-old. She’s been in high school for a few years and she’s now driving, dating, thinking about college, and even working at an ice cream shop in her spare time. Because she had such a flawless report card, Frans decided he would get her a car for her 16th birthday. The first thing she did after getting her driver’s license was drive to the mall and buy the stylish fur coat we see her wearing in this clip.
A Bright Future Ahead
Today, Vince is 14 years old. He has settled into his mature and grown-up style. His hair is slick and styled, and he has lost any remaining baby fat from his face. As a freshman in high school, Vince is really starting to come into his own. He’s discovering who his true friends are and he is embracing his own individual identity. He’s doing well in school, while still managing a busy extra-curricular schedule and healthy social life. Vince is excited about his bright future!
All Grown Up
Lotte is all grown up! At the end of Frans’s beautiful tribute to his daughter, we see a clip of Lotte after her 18th birthday. Her transformation is truly incredible. Frans’s little girl is now a beautiful young woman, and she looks happier than ever! These days, Lotte is enjoying her last few months living at home before she moves off to college, where she’ll be studying at her dream school. She’s also planning on traveling in the near future with her best friends.
The Ups And Downs Of Adolescence
One of the most noticeable things we observed from Hofmeester’s powerful project was its incredible honesty. In certain brief snapshots, it is obvious to the viewer that Lotte and Vince are unhappy. This gives the video a very real and sincere feel. In today’s selfie-obsessed culture, people do their best to appear happy, no matter what. In reality, everyone has good days and everyone has bad days, especially during their vulnerable adolescent years. Hofmeester’s project sheds light on the reality of growing up.
All Bad Things Must Come To An End
Even though we see numerous shots of Lotte and Vince crying, screaming, or simply looking sad, the style of Frans’s video shows us that every difficult situation we deal with in life will eventually come to an end. For example, it only takes a few seconds before we see Lotte go from crying to laughing. Because each short clip in the video is shown sped up, Frans conveys an indirect theme that, as long as we stay positive, tough times will eventually end.
A Lovely Message
Frans’s video tributes to his children have touched the lives of countless strangers from all over the world. It’s no surprise to us that such a simple yet powerful video could influence so many lives. One viewer commented, “why do I cry… I don’t even know her but the video is so beautiful and emotional.” Another wrote, “What a great way to use technology. Such a unique timeline. Nicely done.” Another viewer conveyed their message by saying, “Wow they do grow up soo fast!!!”