Thursday, July 14, 2011

Globetrotting Tots

My cousin leads an interesting life. He's a talented architect.  His wife is a beautiful Swede who works for the U.N.  They have two delightful kids, who in Jonah's words, "have never lived in their home countries."  You see, her work with the U.N. keeps them moving around the globe.  I'd be remiss if I didn't disclose that I'm a little jealous!

When their first child was born, they lived in Georgia.  No, no, not that one.  The former Soviet Tbilisi, Georgia.  It's for this reason they wisely decided to return to Sweden for Jonah's birth.  When Sophia came along, they were in Bratislava, Slovakia.  This was a much more sophisticated and metropolitan location by far.  From Bratislava they could easily travel back and forth to Vienna for modern world shopping and conveniences.  For the last couple years, they've called Hanoi, Vietnam home.  Yep, you heard me.  It's hot, it's a big city, but I think they've enjoyed being here the most of all the cities they've called home so far.

What's cool is little Jonah and Sophia.  They travel like pros, they are delightful, happy little kids, they talk to their mom in Swedish when they feel like it and they are good little eaters!  They both are very aware and conscious of eating healthy, getting their veggies and fruits.  In fact, I think Jonah could live off fruit alone and be perfectly content.  I guess living in so many different parts of the world you'd expect them to prefer lots of exotic and eclectic foods like sushi, pho, pierogies, borscht and durian.  They'd certainly be game for trying, but like most kids, they like the basics. 

We have been lucky to have them home for the last month.  My cousin and the kids came first for a couple weeks to have fun while poor mom had to stay behind and work until a few days before the really big event: my aunt's wedding aboard a Carnival cruise ship in Charleston.  The kids, mine included, loved the steak & pasta and were all over the wedding cake and dessert.  After they all returned from the cruise, we met in N. Myrtle Beach for a few days of summer fun before they embarked on the [endless] trip back to Vietnam.  So, the three amigos spent their time riding the golf cart to the beach and back, practicing swimming and diving and chowing down after all that sun and exercise.  Turns out, all kids, regardless of what part of the world they live in, love...LOVE... meatballs and spaghetti.  And hot dogs ( know, I'm a meat freak).  And fruit, oatmeal, and popsicles.  Being a kid rocks in so many ways!

My point to this post is this: Being at this point in my life when my sister, my cousins and I are all raising kids at the same time, it's just simply joyful to watch them all grow, evolve and interact with each other.  And of course, I'm fascinated by what they like to eat and even more by what they don't like! I can't wait to see what effect(s) their globetrotting childhood has on Jonah and Sophia's palates and their personal cooking styles.  Of course, that's way off and I'll just have to be patient. In the meantime, I just look forward to as many visits as possible to be with them and watch them and my child grow together and mature into wonderful, smart, talented and thoughtful people. 

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