How to Justify the Expense

When I asked Frida to say, ‘Ciao, bella!’ for the camera, I did not expect her to add in a hair flip. Immediately afterwards, she said, ‘Mama, I said Ciao, bella, and I went like this *hair flip*. Is that funny?’ And I said, ‘Oh, Frida, the hair flip itself was funny and the fact that you’re consciously practicing your humor makes me laughcry with happiness about the person you are becoming.’ And she said, ‘Are you OK?’ because I guess my laughter was getting a little hysterical.

Here she is.  Ciao, Bella

Max is more energetic, more interactive, and overall more smiley than ever before. Here’s a picture that is mostly my teeth but which also includes some Max:

Me and Max











Tobias and I are still surprised by how sad we are at the state of affairs re: Max’s syndrome, but we’re trying to have fun when we can and to treat ourselves gently. Particularly since the move to Italy, we feel like complete asshats every time we complain about anything. We have all of the things that are on our must-have list (family time, friends, shelter, access to extended family,) and all of the things on our like-to-have list (excellent food, satisfying careers, sound teeth, fast internet,) and many of the things on our well-sure-I-guess-that-sounds-pretty-good-why-not list (friendly banter with the guy making mozzarella at the weekly market, a train to Lake Como that takes 28 minutes from leaving our doorstep, the biggest Pope-to-Pope improvement in the history of mankind.) We are so so ever so very lucky – to have each other (his parenting style is pretty much my parenting style but with discernible abs,) to have healthcare, to have lots of social and emotional support – but sometimes we feel like we’re making our lives as perfect as they can be in hopes that someone with worse QofL luck but better genetic luck will want to trade. I would eat a hell of a lot of mealy, tasteless, half-green tomatoes if it meant a healthy Max.

And that’s just it. No matter how many shitty-tasting tomatoes I eat, Max’s problem (our problem) isn’t going to go away. So you know what, team? I’m going to eat the good tomatoes. Fuck, yeah, Italy, let’s eat some good goddamned tomatoes! You, too, Max! You, too, Frida and Tobias and everyone who loves us! Let’s eat the good tomatoes and soak in the sun and schedule the one-on-one Pilates instruction twice a week, which might be total overkill but my back feels better now than it has since my teens so what the hell. Woohoo!

The Family at Late QuitcherBitchin

The Family at Lake Quitcherbitchin



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