Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My other half

I know that I don't talk about my daughter that much in this space. I know she wouldn't like it. We have a rather volatile relationship which goes from deep love to violent hate, sometimes in a matter of minutes. Part of that is her personality, part is a fourteen year old's hormones, another part is her being angry at life in general. These last two years have been particularly difficult for her at school. In grades 1 - 5 I sent her to a private catholic school. No nuns or priests, it was close to home, and they were in school until 4.00 pm and no school on saturday. This as opposed to 12.30 pm at the public school with saturdays included. When it came time to select a middle school for grades 6 - 8 I gave her the choice of the public school next to our house (walking distance) or to continue on at the catholic school where I would drive her in the morning but she had to take the public bus back home. It was only a ten minute ride, but a much bigger decision. It was also a different set of teachers and administration. Most of the friends she had made in school were continuing on at the private catholic school, she doesn't like change in general, so she decided to stay there.

The problem was that she changed. My sweet little first born started becoming a strong willed, opinionated, creative soul. This probably all happened at too young of an age for her and everyone around her, which threw her teachers off completely. So it's been a rough three years.

In Italy high schools are divided into specialties. You're expected to know what you want to do at fourteen and then choose that direction in your five years of studies. They have a "classic" high school where you study greek and latin, or a "scientific" high school where you study math and science. Olivia chose an art institute, with emphasis on photography and graphics. We're very happy with this choice because not only is it where she definately has talent, but she chose this particular school THREE YEARS AGO. She already knew what she wanted.

I hope the storms that she feels around and inside of her start to cease and she can find some peace in her creativity. I love her more than anything in the world.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gift idea!

After three trillion orders with Amazon, the other day they sent me a coupon for a free photo album book through
If you don't know what to get Dad, Husband, Boyfriend, Signficant Other or ANY father you know, go put together a photo album. It was so much fun and so so easy. I took all the pictures that I had from my trip to Memphis, picked the best and then made a book out of them with captions and some writing. Then I sent it off to my Dad. Very very cool. I'll probably use it again at Christmas or for some important occasion.

Friday, June 08, 2007

When you get something different than what you went for...

I had a great time. The first few moments were a little ackward, if only for the time factor. Seeing people you know so well that have different faces and bodies is...surprising. But then ten minutes later you're already used to them again and all is well. My sister had her usual freak out moment, which I knew would come but I didn't realise that she creates them all on her own. Mmm, gave me lots to think about. In any case, I went there for me toteing Evan along with me without realising that we were actually going for him. When we arrived there my Dad was waiting for us, having already been at my brother's for a couple of days. Evan rushed up to my Dad and yelled "Grandpa!". Unfortunately my father is a little on the non responding, unemotional side so he didn't get it. We called Piero to let him know that we'd had a safe trip and Ev announced that Grandpa had a moustache and spoke in english. He didn't have trouble understanding anybody but he kept talking in italian on the first, second and third day. The fourth day he broke out of it and started speaking complete sentences in english with everybody. A non stop talker in both languages now! I mean he just never stops talking, plus he's in the "why?" stage. He played, he shopped, he loved running around at water parks and playing with his cousins. He went in the pool every day and learned not to be afraid of the water. He was happy to go home to his "Pappy".
Yesterday he was telling me that he likes speaking in english. I told him I was very happy for him and that I was happy that he met my family. His reply: "They're my family too!"