Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Vargas and the Reeds

Standing:  Imre, Ildiko, Bill, Kath, Zippy    Sitting:  Roland, Ian and Liz

At least once a year, our grandson's NagyMama and NagyPapa (Grandma and Grandpa in Hungarian) come to visit their son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. We always try to come visit them while they are in town. Yesterday was such a day.

Our beautiful grandson, Ian, has six grandparents: Imre and Ildi Varga, Bill and Kathy Reed and Robert and Janet Hellmann. This is one of the consequences of divorce. But what a lucky kid! When my daughter was born, she only had one living grandparent. Ian is the "only" grandchild of six doting grandparents.

Roland's parents live in Caracas, Venezuela. However, they were both born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. During the time of the Communist takeover of their country, they were able to leave, living in the United States and eventually Venezuela. There is a whole separate story on why they were unable to remain in the U.S.

Unfortunately, after years of living under Hugo Chavez, they've watched their adopted country have many similarities to the country of their birth. We don't get a lot of Venezuelan coverage in the United States, but it is a country that is moving rapidly toward Cuban-style Communism. The Vargas, having lived through this process once before, were early to recognize the "slippery slope" to Communism. It is painful for them.

At least once a year, however, they get to visit their grandson -- the light of everyone's eyes. Ian is unusually verbal for a 2 1/2 year old. The accents of his grandparents seem to be of no concern to him. Yesterday, I'm told, he said to his NagyMama, "Por favor, mas manzana." (Please, can I have more apple)? His Hungarian grandparents, and his father, are trilingual.

Ildi, Ian and Imre Varga

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, some great wine, brushed up on our language skills and rejoiced in the grandson who has our children as his parents. I look forward to our next visit.

As I type this, it is a typical Cincinnati January Sunday, and I am enjoying a fire in the fireplace.  Can things get much better?



  1. How wonderful that Ian is being exposed to other languages! Nagyon jol, Ian!

  2. As a child, I had three living grandfathers. In my case it was due to my mother's adoption, not a divorce. They were all so different, that I learned something totally unique from each of them. I think Ian's variety of languages and relatives is a real plus.


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