23 February 2011

Life: This Italian Life Plus One

  SARONNO, Italy - It seems like a lifetime ago that I posted that last article. So much has happened, not only to my eyes but to my life. Obviously my eyesight is better, not 100 percent, but certainly good enough to start writing again and that makes me very happy. I miss my little blog and I’m delighted to be back, even if I have to limit my posts to once a week.

 My Darling Daughter

But there have been other changes as well. My all-grown-up daughter is living with me now. We had been talking about it for well over a year, skyping almost every night, her from New York and me here in Saronno,  making plans and planning trips as I tried to make Italy sound like Paradise on Earth. Even with my super selling skills there were times, many times, when I thought it would never happen. 

While it wasn’t exactly a “hold your nose”and jump" moment for her, after all she was coming to her mother and her mother’s protective embrace, I understand how difficult a  decision it was for her to make. Life is different here. Milan is not New York, and Saronno, well Saronno isn’t even a borough. Not to mention the problem of her not speaking Italian. 

“Not to worry,” I said.

But there was plenty to worry about. In the beginning I hovered over her like a helicopter.  Certainly she thought I was just being an over-protective parent, but the truth is after waiting half my lifetime for this very moment, I was terrified to let her out of my sight. How could I let her go to Milan alone? What if she didn’t come back? She doesn’t speak Italian and she wanted to go – by herself – into a city of 1.5 million people, none of whom speak one word of English (only a slight exaggeration). What if she gets lost, gets hurt, gets scared, who will help her? My rational self knew it was a ridiculous fear but that didn’t stop my heart from pounding every second she was gone and no matter what I did it wouldn’t stop until she walked back in through the door. 

It was actually worse than that. I didn’t even want her wandering the streets of bucolic Saronno. How could I put into words the years of heartbreak and worry that I suffered so deeply when we were separated? How could I explain the overwhelming love and emotion I felt at actually having her near me again, of the joy of being able to go into the next room and hug her whenever I wanted to, and I wanted to a thousand times a day. How could I risk losing that? I couldn’t. This is my baby girl we are talking about.

But that phase has passed. I’m sure she’s more than delighted that I’m not calling her every five minutes just to see how she is. What she doesn’t  know is what torture it is not to call her. All I want is to hear her voice and be reassured that she is still alive. And I swear it’s only when I think I’m going to explode with worry that I pick up the phone and dial her number now.  

In the meantime things in Italy are changing faster than the speed of light and there is much to be said about that, but it will have to wait.  Here in Saronno I am taking each day as it comes, grateful for each and every one.  And that’s as it should be. See you next Sunday. And yes, Zaronno still rulez.

No comments:

Post a Comment