This morning Frida walked into the kitchen and said, ‘My feet are ridiculously cold!’ As the parent responsible for her education in English and for dressing her to avoid frostbite, I had to give myself 2 points for appropriate use of a 5-syllable adverb and a 2-point demerit for foot safety. It all evens out, you see.
Similarly, my interactions in Italian seem to be coming out roughly even: a point here and there for correct usage of ‘I want’, ‘coffee’, and ‘the check, please.’ Points off for incorrect usage of nodding and smiling to indicate understanding (I nod and smile all the time; I understand 1/4 of the time.) I thought that the teachers at Frida’s school were just making conversation when they asked me repeatedly what my plans were for Carnavale week. As non-Catholics, we had nothing planned. The Thursday before Carnavale it came to light that they had been asking because the school would be closed the entire week in celebration of Carnavale. If you are not the parent of a school-aged child, I will tell you that as surprises go this is like being surprised with a full meal at your very very favorite extra special bucket-list restaurant except that you just ate three whole bowls of All-Bran in an attempt at a cheap, at-home cleanse and were really looking forward to putting on pajamas and spending the evening watching four new Downton Abbey episodes. The meal (or time with cherished daughter,) will be less comfortable than if things had been planned, but a joy nonetheless and really not something that is socially acceptable to complain about.
Max is at a funny developmental stage wherein he cannot understand or follow simple commands (hold up your hand, roll the ball to me, etc.) but he is beginning to mimic with a focus on words that are vowel-driven. This means that when you are, for example, on the phone with your father about the weather*, you will hear little Max, eavesdropping, saying, ‘Wow!’ ‘Oh, yeah?’, ‘Wow!’ He nods along, which is especially cute.
*the Colorado weather is a thing of great wonder. And beauty, come to that.
Tobias, engineer of mechanics and social schedules, organized a surprise solo weekend in Hamburg. For me, I hasten to add. It was wonderful – meals with friends, cake with friends, overnights with friends, dancing with friends. I’m terribly impressed with Tobias’ ability to keep a great secret while planning a complicated weekend. It was wonderful, and it made Hamburg feel like home. I miss the people in Hamburg, the easy punctuality, the cleanliness.