Saturday, July 15, 2006

From the Mouths of Babes

Duke has two little girls. The older of the two is named Christabelle. They call her Christa, and this is her, sitting on our front porch, about two months after her third birthday.

Unlike American children, she hasn't had someone pointing a camera at her every twenty minutes since she was born, so me crouching in front of her jabbering away in her second language was understandably puzzling.

So what we have is a picture of a puzzled toddler. But trust me, she is a hoot. She is bright, inquisitive, and confident.

We were her first Obronis.

And we scared the jeepers out of her at first. But Cooper, in his usual way, charmed her with his casual friendliness and shared his markers and paper with her so she could draw us pictures for our fridge.

Cut to now. It's been months since she was at our house, and although I get hilarious stories from her Dad and talk to her Mom on the phone occasionally, none of us has seen her since that first visit. The last time I was at their house, she was in school (pre-school), so I had to be satisfied with terrifying her baby sister, Erica, with my white face and incomprehensible speech.

But Jane (Duke's wife) made Cooper an African dress shirt with the most beautiful embroidery and I was so excited at the perfect fit I took a picture of him in it right away for Duke to show Jane as soon as he got home.

Christa appropriated the picture, so Duke quizzed her:

"Do you know who that is?" (expecting her to say "Obroni!")

but her reply was,


Duke was amazed, but not yet convinced, so asked,

"And where is Cooper from?"

Her reply:

"Grandma Obroni's!"

Yes, that's right. I might have neglected to tell you that Duke's little girl calls me Grandma Obroni. A fact that my (way older- ha!) sister finds hilarious. Granted, I am (barely) old enough to be Christa's mother's mother, but Jane is quite young herself and I'm years from being an actual grandmother.

At least I'd better be.

But Christa doesn't care. I am, and always will be, Grandma Obroni.

And she sleeps with Cooper's picture.