Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kevin dethroned!

Last Wednesday (a week ago today) we made the traditional run to the airport, to say our goodbyes to Celio and Clea (my inlaws), who left to spend some time with Cleia and Mark in New Jersey. (Note to "outsiders": Cleia, generally known as Duca within the family, is Cristina's sister; she and her husband, Mark, are also Kevin's godparents.) It is usually during these trips that we perceive how much we take for granted having the grandparents around; so the farewell ritual is typically an emotionally charged moment, particularly for Cristina and her sister, Ana, who will have to make due without the company and support of their parents for what will probably amount to a couple of months out of the country.

Since we live so close (within walking distance of their house), we spend a lot of time around them; their absence is already being keenly felt by the kids.


So Celio and Clea arrived Thursday morning in Ramsey, New Jersey, where they were received by Duca and Mark with an unexpected and thrilling surprise:

Duca is four months pregnant!

Yes ... incredibly, knowing that Celio and Clea were planning a visit, they managed to keep her pregnancy secret from all of us, for all this time. By Thursday morning, the news had propagated back to us in Brazil, and it seemed like Cristina and Ana were the ones who had become grandparents with all the blubbering that was going on! The kids were equally thrilled. The only bittersweet aspect to the news is that the little Dukita or Markito will be born in Ramsey, NJ, far from everyone. However, James and Christian saw it immediately as another great excuse for us to travel to the United States again soon!

Of course, the news also means that Kevin has been dethroned! In one swell foop, he will fall from his position as youngest Prince of the Realm (of all my nephews and nieces of both sides of the family), and lose his title of preferred Prince to his Godparents! On the other hand, he will have another cousin, a little closer to his age range: someone for him to teach all about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, and the like!

Below are a couple of pictures of Celio and Clea hanging out on the sailboat with Mark and Duca (sent by Duca, from this Sunday!):


It's ironic; when I met Cristina, she was the only member of her family who lived outside of Brazil. Now two of her sisters live in the US and her brother (effectively) lives in Taiwan. When her parents are in the US, that leaves only Ana and her kids as "family" here in Brazil. But that's OK; we're not complaining. It's kind of nice having family spread around the world; it means there are a lot of places that feel like "home". Certainly for James and Christian, the Kansas City area feels like home ... with two sets of grandparents, a great grandmother, 3 pairs of uncles and aunts, and a whole bunch of cousins, they have nothing but great memories from each of our visits. Our trip to the US this past Christmas was a rich and rewarding experience all around. We're looking forward to getting back to New Jersey also, to see Duca and Mark, and the new little Ramsey; and we're also really looking forward to getting to know Regina and Gustavo's new home in Weston, Florida (as long as it's not hurricane season!).

Rumor has it, they have also recently acquired a new addition to the family ... of the canine variety. However, they preferred to risk their luck with a Boston Terrier rather than heed my advice and my ... er... whole-hearted endorsement of the Labrador race!


At September 23, 2005 2:21 PM, Mark said...

Makes me miss sailing. Used to crew for my dad during races while I was a teenager, and now that I'm older I know I could appreciate it more.

Glad to know you have somebody else in your life named Mark. We're such great guys. ;-)


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