Monday, October 29, 2007

Our sweet “practice” son

When Susanne was 18 years old one of her favorite people in the world, her German first cousin Sabine, gave birth to a boy named Toby. Toby is now 15 and I like to say that he is one of those kids who is “15 going on 13” rather than “15 going on 20”. I, of course, think this is a positive thing to say, but I’m sure he would strongly disagree. Alright. I guess I would too if I were him.

But, in my defense, all I mean is that he is a very sweet and well mannered young man. He got to come to DC to visit us during this two week school break as a reward for doing so well in his English classes back in Germany. Su and I find ourselves wishing that we knew more teenage kids to introduce him to, but fortunately he’s hasn’t gone completely mad meeting lots of Danny’s little infant friends and their families. (Turns out that our social life is now sort of geared around our little fella.) Yesterday he came to our friend’s Mikki and Kelly’s house and while Su and I thoroughly enjoyed watching how adorable their almost 6 month old daughter Bailey as she happily cooed and bounced all over the place, one glance at Toby made me wonder whether he’d rather have visited the dentist. He was a great sport and all, but I could sort of feel his pain ;-)

Toby is sort of an introvert anyway, so even though we’ve gone sight seeing and shopping at malls (which he loves by the way) he’s pretty much kept himself busy on the computer.

Apparently there is a “special someone” who he IMs with at all hours of the day and night back home, but I won’t embarrass him here about that. (It’s all very cute.) Then of course there is My Space (Note: NOT Facebook as he explained to me). There is also some sort of computer game where dragons or monsters or something get killed or shall I say slayed a lot? (Really, I’m not looking over his shoulder all the time.)

He really like Japanese art so we’ve hit the Freer and Sackler at the Smithsonian and he also likes to take pictures--especially on the new camera he just bought. Apparently his Euros go a long way here after their conversion to dollars. Much like his cousin Susanne he takes mostly pictures of things and places--not people. Must be genetic I think (I on the other hand hardly ever take pictures of buildings or nature when there are people to get into the snapshots!)

Anyway, did I mention that Toby looks A LOT like Susanne. Even though they are second cousins they look like they could be brother and sister or maybe mother and son. So of course I think he’s a very handsome lad. And I’ve decided that our dear Toby is sort of a practice son.

For example when we were out the other day I found myself buying 3 hot dogs and sodas and thinking “ahhhh....this is what it feels like to shell out for 3 people instead of just 2 people.”

And then a few minutes later “ahhhh....this is what it’s like to try and carry 3 hot dogs and 3 sodas….awwww crap…spilled again!”

Or when it’s time to eat I stand at the bottom of the steps and use my best mother voice—“Toby honey, time for dinner”. “Okay, coming” he’ll call back. Gosh. It won’t be too long before it’s Danny instead of Toby. And I think that is great. (Oh, I’d better start adding in that “and don’t forget to wash your hands first young man”).

Toby has very specific tastes about his clothes. Vans for his feet, and pretty much mostly black clothes. Apparently wearing light colors, particularly white or, heaven forbids, yellow, is verboten. (And that’s an English word—you can check.)

Tonight we are going to carve pumpkins. Toby’s never done that before. Maybe we'll do a goth pumpkin...

If you’re lucky we’ll actually capture a picture of Toby soon (he abhors being in photos almost as much as his cousin Su does). And then you can see for yourself what a sweetheart he is. Ciao! -Monica

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