I've just been shopping for my great nieces/nephews in Australia, but it was a lot more fun when the exchange rate was good. Still -- it's a lucky thing to be able to buy things for them, although it can be difficult to know what things are or what they might like. Anji's two: I have picked out a telescope for Caitlin, and a baby-toy catamaran for Ryan. Jason's brood: For James I decided on a kit to build models of things. I really have no idea what it is, but it was 75 Aussie dollars so I hope it's ok. My reasoning is: Jason likes to build things, so therefore he and his son might have fun building these together. Then I got a set of quoits for Owen I reckon, a thing like an etch-a-sketch for Angus, and a dumptruck for Sarah. I heard a rumour of another pregnancy, but I have had no word either way. Jason has lovely children, but his wife is from an Irish Catholic family and has 17 siblings. Perhaps that seems normal to her. When I was a child I ALWAYS wanted to be from a large family -- like my friend Oobay, whose family lived in a castle-like house and were most interesting and fun. They'd put on plays, etc. Their mother was an artist who was always working in her studio, and their father was a dynamite salesman (as I recall anyway). Pennsylvania has loads of wild grapevines in the woods, which climb up the trees then run along the treetops. And that's exactly what WE'D do -- swarm up the tree the run around on the net of wild grapevines. We were light. I suppose children today don't do things like that. Although: In 1990 I had been thrown out of my marital home for having m.s., so I stayed at KGF's house for part of my homeless time. There was a family of newly arrived Russians next door, and those children climbed around on the roof. They ranged from 2 to 5 or 6. They were great kids. The eldest, Olga, was very responsible. Oleg, next in line, kept telling me he wanted to see the place I'd rented -- one day he said that he was leaving and if he didn't go today he'd never see my place. I didn't think he was right, but took him to see my new house anyway. Sure enough, the next day they were GONE. I got Olga and Oleg to paint on a painting I was doing at the time. Their brother Andre spoke a mix of Russian and English that only the children understood. Their mother said birch trees reminded her of Russia. I believe they moved to a Russian community in Auburn.
posted by - 11:52 AM