To set the record straight and correct the flat tone of my last posts (and to get over the annoying administrative appointment I had this morning), I have to tell you this: I love it here. I love where we live, I love living amongst Italians, I love the challenges that come with learning the language. I love that I get to see my husband so much, I love that my kiddos are in Italian preschool, and I love that every day I feel awestruck by all of it.
This was how I started my week:
This morning Walden climbed into bed with me when he woke up. Bertie came wandering in, peeping, “Mooom, I’m hunnnngweeee.” I smooshed their fuzzy-footie-jammy-clad shoulders, shooed them off to their wooden train track and scavenged something for breakfast (oatmeal and bread-heel toast with peanut butter and shots of milk). We succeeded in getting dressed and out the door to arrive at preschool at the start of drop-off, saying our “Buon giorno”s and “Ciao”s to the friendly staff on our way to the boys’ locker. Each boy gave me a smiling hug and a kiss.
I popped the parking brake and shifted our Fiat Panda into first gear to head to the grocery store. I took my time, browsing the seasonal produce, dried mushrooms and pasta selections. I understood the cashier when she explained that her register was closing. I didn’t forget to take my card from the chip-and-pin reader (this time).
Before taking the groceries out of my car I turned my face toward the giant trees in the park behind our house, closed my eyes, listened to the sweet bird song, feeling the cool, still air.
Cold groceries are in the refrigerator. Fresh bread dough is rising on the counter. Laundry is whizzing in the basement. Facebook isn’t ding-ing much because North America is just starting to wake. And I’m paralyzed with indecision. The day is mine. There are so many things to do, and that I’d like to do. There are so many sights to see and experiences to enjoy, so many things to learn and explore. So much that I don’t know where to begin!
Of course, every day is different.
Yesterday the Panda didn’t start (the radio sometimes turns on when you aren’t in the car; the battery was drained). I had to use a trilingual 4-year-old to translate some information I had to pass along to Walden’s teacher. Today we – the whole family – spent the morning in a crowded room waiting for our appointment to apply for my permit to stay, only to learn that some of our documentation was insufficient. The sun sets by 5:30 now. Our windows are terribly drafty. The minivan is already missing a mirror.
This life is not perfect.
But it IS really, really good.