I am lagging behind on my blogging reading and writing this week due to the boys’ social schedule…..who would of thought it?
Last weekend started with play dates being organised by friends in their classes followed with a birthday invitation for the coming Friday- WOW I thought, I’m not sure I’m ready for so much attention (code for shit, I will have to speak Italian and I don’t mean, Ciao!). Our first ‘play’ was on Tuesday with a lovely Italian girl from Max’s class. Her mum wrote the note in English so I was semi-confident I’d be able to string a few words together with an Italian mum.
Max’s first long day of school on the Monday before didn’t go as planned (wheels came flying off the “Italian school is cool” bus) and I was wondering if he really wanted to go to the play date on Tuesday seeing as he told me he was never going to Italian school again!
With no pressure applied I asked Max what he wanted to do (and secretly I was hoping for the ‘let’s wait a while’ answer) but he said ‘let’s go.’ So after school Monday the boys and I jumped into the car of our host and had our first ‘play’ with a new Italian class mate. I got on like a house-on-fire with the mum and managed to speak about half a dozen words of Italian before she confessed she was dying to speak English to someone as she was missing her English life; while the kids were in the other room trying to figure out how to play Monopoly in Italian plus sort out the comfort zones of 11 year-old boys and girls!
Thursday was Alex’s turn for a play date and he was super excited as it was with his ‘best mate’ from his class (whose mum’s American and dad’s Italian….see why he was excited!?) The boys frantically played with toy guns, knives and swords in ENGLISH while I again babbled away in ENGLISH…….Yes I know, there is a pattern forming and it isn’t a good one but have no fear I still have one birthday party to go!
Friday zoomed around and the Italian birthday party was playing on my mind. It was for two girls in Max’s class and although I had a lovely time speaking English to one mum, I knew it was a one off because I had met a few other mums and no English was spoken; 4pm was coming around to fast! We were picked up by our new class friend just after 4pm (something Max couldn’t understand as it said on the invite it started at 4pm…..time sensitive kid 🙂 ). As we were whizzing up tiny streets of tiny towns with cars flying towards us at break-neck speeds I am informed that in fact the house we are going to isn’t much of a house, more like a villa! As we hook a sharp right up the steepest hill I have driven up in a while, I am shoved a little into the window by the sharpness of the turn (my new Italian friend laughing at my reaction- see why I like her!) but the view was breath taking.
We parked the car across the road from a very intimidating stone wall and I was directed to take the kids over to the gate in it. At this stage I had my heart in my throat and no memory of any Italian words whatsoever!! It was at that moment that a very friendly and handsome man came out to greet us. Some how I managed to introduce myself and the kids to him in Italian, tell him we are from Australia and thank you for the invite but I had nothing else……He let me talk, welcomed us all in Italian and then spoke beautiful English to me. Wow I thought how nice is he. We entered through the side garden (yes I said side garden!!) and proceeded to walk down to what looked like an enchanted garden- mind blowing!
( I wouldn’t mind this in my back yard!)
I could hear a crowd gathering in a small clearing and as we got closer I felt sick….ok deep breaths. I asked Max how he was doing and he looked at me and said ‘feeling a bit nervous’, I knew how he felt. However, I am happy to say all the worry and stress was for absolutely nothing as we were invited into the crowd with the warmest of greetings in Italian and English and genuine smiles on peoples faces eager to meet us all. I wasn’t expecting this at all!
Food was laid out and the boys went off to graze though not yet mingling. I was talking to the host’s wife who was a delightful lady and who I am sure spoke better English than me. I was encouraged to speak Italian, however English dominated seeing as I can’t yet have a conversation in Italian. I looked behind me after 5 minutes and the boys had vanished into the beautiful gardens, and I didn’t really see them again until more food was brought out.
Cakes for the birthday girls…..I like cakes!
A week of socializing was wrapped up with a beautiful party, Alex even came up to me at one stage and said it was soooo much better than he thought it was going to be. There were no computer games, bowling allies or laser tag; it was a beautiful back yard where the kids could run, chase, laugh, spill their drinks, eat yummy food, play ping pong and just enjoy being kids. The best part about it for me was that I met a mum with no English who wants me to teach her English and she’ll teach me Italian, I couldn’t ask for more than that!