Greetings From Florence.

September 15, 2013

Well hello!  There is so much to get caught up on.  I've been busy posting some of the pretty bits of our trip on Instagram, but of course that's never the whole story.  As much as I love trying to capture the beautiful, the cute, the delicious, I want to share more than that.  I am a seeker of truth after all....the good, the bad and the ugly!

We came to Italy to fulfill a dream that B and I have shared since our very first conversation more than 11 years ago.  The dream was living abroad, in Italy to be precise.  Italy was a love of both of ours separately. Neither of us are Italian in blood, but we both feel Italian in our souls I guess you could say.  We had both lived in Italy before (separately) and studied the language (he is far more advanced than I).  And when we had kids, the desire to come here didn't go away, it just changed to include them.  So, earlier this year, after a rather soul-crushing legal matter that B worked on (all turned out well, it was just a difficult process), B came home and said Let's Just Do It.  I hemmed and hawed for about a week, because that is just what I do (it is in my blood) and then I woke up on a Tuesday and said Of Course We Are Going To Do This Thing!!

There was lots of planning and researching and trips to Italian Consulates and such, and if I was more like Design Mom, I would lay all the how-to's out there for you (heck, maybe I will do that one of these days if there is interest) but right now I just want to talk about right now.  And the right now is about the kids starting school tomorrow.

Our trip has always centered around the kids attending school here in Italy.  We have this (arguably overly) romantic idea of our kids loving Italy as much as we do and more importantly, speaking the language because come on how cute would the kids be speaking the language.  Come on.  And no, they are not going to an international school or an English language school.  They are going full immersion, people.  Which I love the idea of and I am terrible frightened of as well.  Fortunately, they are attending a Waldorf/Steiner school here in Florence.  The idea is the curriculum and style and environment will be familiar to them.  And we feel good knowing they will be with loving and capable teachers.

I looked at my kids for a long time tonight after they fell asleep (it's so cute, we have them all in one room), and I felt a new feeling for them I think.  I am used to feeling love and overwhelming affection and that desperate need to make everything good in their worlds (and okay okay, frustration and agitation too) but tonight, I felt, I don't know, in AWE of them.  I believe they are all more courageous than I was at their ages.  Strike that, I KNOW they are more courageous than I was at their ages.  Their adaptivity, their honesty and insight about their all blows me away.

We have, of course, been talking to them about school in these last weeks.  Are you excited?  Are you nervous?  Maybe you will make some new friends.  What do you think your teacher will be like?  This type of thing.  Juju has cried but is intent on going.  She has shown real bravery this summer playing with children who do not speak any English (she is the one that will walk right up to a group of kids) and I think she is drawing on those experiences to push herself through.

The other night, B was talking to Charlie, and he was at first quiet about the whole thing.  But then he said (and I paraphrase), "Daddy, you know how people tell you something is going to be so exciting and then you are excited, but then it actually happens and you are scared?  And then after you are scared, it gets fun?  I was scared like that when I started first grade."  And of course B told him that was how this school year was going to be and that he will feel better after a few days most likely.  I am so grateful to have a son who is in touch with his feelings, can admit he is scared, and talk openly about it with his FATHER.  You see, I don't really come from a family of males who talk a lot about their feelings.  Anyway....

Then there's Little E.  She's the only one who has been almost 100% excited to start school.  (Although tonight she said, "What if I'm scared of my teacher?" and I told her the teacher is a very nice person who loves children, and then she said, "Okay" and went to sleep.)  Now, I will remind you, Little E has never even been to school, so I think it's a matter of her not really grasping what is about to happen.  Fortunately, so so fortunately, she and Juju will be in a class together.  At least they can speak English together.  Ha.

So, I guess I am here to ask for you to think of my littles tomorrow if you can....I am nervous for them (again, it is in my blood).  I packed Charlie's lunch, we laid out all of their outfits, and breakfast will be set before I go to sleep tonight.  Happy new school year to all!  And lots of baci from Florence!
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