Thursday, July 9, 2009
Trees, Grass and Chocolate Snowballs with Marshmallow
It's good to be home. The kids are having fun, over jetlag, tearing up the house and destroying my parents. The usual. I was dying to go to a conference in Sturbridge, Mass. and Abbie saved me by inviting me to roadtrip with her, but I can't go. Yesterday, Sofia started screaming from downstairs and my mom couldn't understand what she was saying. I ran downstairs and she was freaking out because she had a piece of corn in her eye. She was so distraught that she couldn't say it in English and was screaming in Italian. Language barriers...and I can't go away and risk losing my kids and my mom because of language barriers. Story of my life.
In any case, five days have passed and my mom and I haven't had one fight. Miracle of miracles. Last night I went to happy hour with my best friend who happens to work with a guy I went to elementary school with, so we reminisced forever. Best time! When I got home the house was black *ten o'clock* and everyone was knocked out. I went upstairs and Jordan was sleeping in my bed, so I picked him up - all 75 lbs. of him to move him to his bed and he said, "What are you doing? Stop!" In ENGLISH!!!! The child, half asleep, was speaking English, not Italian..does anyone else find that to be slightly bizarre?
When you are away from the states for a year and a half, you appreciate everything so much more. Everyone I meet asks me, "Jodi, don't you LOVE living in Tuscany?" And I do. Italy is a beautiful and calm place to raise a family. There are no gangs, the crime rate is non-existent, my kids play outside until midnight, we have gelato, fresh food and culture...but there aren't any trees and grass near my house..just beautiful rolling hills.
So, when I sit outside at my mom's house, listening to her scream at my kids if Sofia gets too close to the pool or Jordan splashes, I just like watching the trees and grass, happy that my parents have the time they have with my kids.
My mom keeps asking me if Jordan's cochlear implant is working. I say, "Mom, it works a lot better if you speak Italian to him so he can understand what you're saying...watch!" I ask him a question in Italian and he responds. Yup...working just fine.
Today I went to spend some time with my grandmother in the nursing home. So sad to see my grandmother living there. I hung out with her "boyfriend" Jake. They had had some activity in the Home that discussed memories. He whipped out the booklet they used and said to have a look at page 31, so I did. There was a series of questions, so I began interrogating Jake:
"Jake,what was your proudest moment in life?"
Jake said, "When I came home from World War II and hugged my parents for the first time..."
*I let that sink in...*
"Jake, has there been anyone in your life who has not helped you?"
Bright, blue-eyed Jake replied, "I was a hustler from the time I was little. I have always been independent. I've always helped my family members and I know that God is looking down on me along with all of the family members who have passed. You know, our bodies are composed of 95% water. We are 100% soul, so that even when we pass, we are still here with the people we love. I'm not scared of dying, I just want to live my life as happily as possible. I have never asked anyone for help in my life."
I lost it. Nothing like a good cry and staring into the beautiful eyes of an old man, stroke victim who still has such a sharp and deep mind. What a beautiful person. I can see why my Gram digs him. I approve.
Anyway...we've been busy living the USA. We've hit the zoo and the paddleboats at the Inner Harbor. A lot has changed, yet at the same time nothing has changed. I'm still taking it all in...with my kids and my family over a chocolate covered cherry snowball with marshmallow.