Wednesday, February 18, 2015

La Mia Famiglia

Our weeknight evenings are scarily choreographed. Most nights I arrive home first and deal with the jumpiest, most excited dog. Then Jay either takes Chandler running or heads to the gym and I will join sometimes if I haven't done my usual lunchtime workout. On the nights I stay home, I usually then take the dog on a walk, get my nightly shower in, pack our lunches for the next day and do some laundry. At which point, Jay will return, shower himself then make our dinner for the night which is always followed by a huge kitchen clean-up, little television and then bed. Oy. Sometimes I feel like a wild animal, we just are living to live! Work, Sleep Eat, Repeat. Where's the fun in that?

Well, the fun does come as we actually sit and eat the meal and then embark on the classic workers' lazy time at the end of a long day: Couch + TV + Blanket. For instance tonight after an amazing taco salad for dinner by Jay we watched the usual enthralling & simultaneously depressing episode of 'Breaking Bad' (No spoilers- we're almost done!) over hot tea. However, tonight was a treat because immediately after, we switched over to PBS's "The Italian Americans" and nestled in to learn a bit more about part of my history (well Jay cast his attention to Reddit instead but I'd like to think it was something we shared together as we sat silently on the couch not interacting).
^In Verona, Italy in 2013 with my cousin, Luigi

As the story unfolded under the narrative of Stanley Tucci, I loved seeing all of the old world images of hard-working Italian immigrants, forging ahead and making their home in this new land. Their sacrifice in moving here was rooted in promise of a better tomorrow yet I know it came with immense hardship, poverty & daily struggles to work and keep a home/family together. I couldn't help but think about the fact that any person I was looking at could just as well have been MY Italian-American family, who came here under the exact same circumstance.
^My Italian Nonna "Nana", looking as beautiful as ever!

I think a lot of your family history gets lost on you when you're a little kid. Any news about where you came from has to be delivered under a two-minute marketing presentation or else you are out and on to the next toy or visual stimulant. However, as you age- it all comes to actually mean something and becomes such a large part of who you are and the legacy you want to leave in the wake of those before you.

And nothing can quickly display that better than the below.
^I spent many days "talking" with Luigi in Italy. It was incredible.
 This is Luigi. He is my Nonna's First Cousin and he still lives in Verona, Italy where I met him in 2013. He is spritely, vivacious, funny, kind, warm, loud & talks with his hands like you wouldn't believe.

And might I also add, he speaks no English. And I speak no Italian. Yet here we are, talking- can you tell? Talking with eyes, talking with hands, talking with words in their own way. Talking. To my Italian family member. In Italy. With no shared words.

Reflecting on that made for a nice change of pace on an otherwise normal night. I guess work/eat/sleep/repeat isn't so bad of a pattern. After all, it's a privilege bestowed on you due to the sacrifice of family. The act alone carries generations of lineage and creates a barrage of stories to share centered on the included triumphs & pitfalls.

And these shared experiences far surpass the need for a shared language.

4 comments:

Jax said...

I love this post! First off, it's so real. We live to live and sometimes int's depressing. I mean, our daily routines become so mundane that you want to scream sometimes. At least, your man does some of the cooking! Love that. :)

Oh, I wish I knew that special was on! That's something I totally would haven gotten sucked into as well considering my roots. Love how you and your family member were able to communicate without speaking the same language. I can't wait to venture to Sicily and meet all the family members I only see on Facebook.

Pat Hatt said...

That is very true indeed, we work, eat, sleep and repeat because we are fortunate to be able to. I hate it and it can be mundane but it beats many an alternative. True, I'd rather have a toy then hear about heritage as a kid lol

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'm comforted by routine but I'm also held down by it sometimes.

I loved loved loved that special.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

@Jax- it's online!!! Just search the title and you can watch it on PBS. I also think the next installment is on Tuesday? And yes! You will be so excited, that's how I was before we left: Facebook friends with all of them, but to meet them- oh my!

@Pat so true!!

@Steph Yes, routines certainly have a place in our lives.