Throughout the year, I skype weekly with My Mother The Dowager Duchess and Her Other Son The Kid Brother. Fall and winter, we skype every Sunday because The Kid Brother bowls on Saturday. During summer, we skype every Saturday because The Kid Brother plays softball in Central Park on Sunday. It has always been all about him, you know.
|1961 AND IT WAS ALREADY ALL ABOUT THE KID BROTHER.
(I’M THE SMALL SHADOWY FIGURE IN THE BACKGROUND.)
On his free day, The Kid Brother takes the bus to visit The Duchess. She loads him up with food (to eat while he’s there and to take home). I comment that she really shouldn’t do that because he’s supposed to be living independently. But, well, she’s a mother. The duo “just chill,” as The Kid Brother would say, for a couple of hours. We skype for an hour, beginning precisely at 11:00, or The Kid Brother will have something to say about it. (If I dial in at 11:01, the first comment is “You’re late!” 10:59? “You’re early.”) After our call they head out for lunch. At 12 noon on the dot. Or, again, The Kid Brother will have something to say about it. He’s a bit of a stickler.
|1984. THEIR FIRST VISIT TO OUR HOUSE IN GEORGETOWN, WASHINGTON, D.C.
(KID BROTHER’S SMILE IS DUE TO LUIGI, OUR LOVEBIRD, SITTING ON HIS HEAD.)
The Duchess took a computing class years ago, but didn’t have a computer until December 2011. She’s become pretty incredible. She now even sits up high enough in her chair when we skype so I can see more than just the top of her head. The kid brother is a natural with any technology. He connects to Skype every week and he’ll answer on his own if I call before The Duchess is in the room.
|SATURDAY. THE DUCHESS AND THE KID BROTHER.
(I’M THE SMALL SHADOWY FIGURE IN THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER.)
The Duchess has a very kind next-door neighbor who is a musician and music teacher. He asked her if he could store a few string instruments in her apartment for the summer. Of course she said yes. She’s got plenty of space. She ended up with a collection of violins, violas, a cello, and more. Every time we skype, if the light is not quite right, it looks like a veiled woman has joined the conversation.
One of these days, I’ll have to get The Duchess to hold up her hands. Last week, her nails were orange. Some time back, they were metallic green. She and Slushie (click here) would get along well, I think.