I’ve never been responsible for another living being for any length of time, apart from a week of dog-sitting many years ago in Alaska. And both those dogs were too old to get up to much, too slow to get lost, and too spoiled to wander far from home. It was a doddle.
My nephew arrived this morning – all 13 years of him – unaccompanied – on a plane. Despite my fears and trepidations he made it through passport control and baggage claim without incident. He’s taller. And looks different. I had to double check that it was him. Perhaps it’s just me seeing him out of context.
The ride in from the airport via bus and metro was a history lesson – for me, from him – on Hungary, Korea, and the benefits of learning Chinese. The next ten days or so will be interesting, no doubt spent tracking down WWII sights and delving deeper into the history of this part of the world. No worries. I’m always up for an education.
To get myself prepared, I’ve been asking people with kids here in Budapest what a 13-year-old would be interested in. My ideas of the circus and the zoo were rebutted with ‘girls’. 13-year-old boys are interested in girls. That’s too much for me to deal with. So I’ll try the zoo – for starters. And the cat café. And Memento Park. And hope that the porkolt is to his liking and that he doesn’t suddenly get a manic craving for Irish sausages.
I can’t remember ever going to visit an aunt when I was 13 – at least never to visit an aunt who didn’t have children. There were always cousins around to get me into trouble. So I am coming to this with sod all experience. And admittedly, the thoughts of being ‘on’ 24/7 are a little daunting. But his mother assures me that he’s just like me. I’m taking that to mean that he’ll be happy curled up on the couch with a book, go too bed early, sleep late, and won’t know the meaning of being bored.
When I told De Wimmen that he was coming over, they laughed. All of them. When I told my Hungarian friends, they laughed, too. Apparently the thoughts me of being responsible are hilarious. I just need concentrate on not losing him. Or forgetting that he’s here. And making sure that he’s fed. He brought crisps and chocolate so we had those for breakfast. Oops. Perhaps I need to get a grip and remember that I’m the adult. The pressure …