I miss you.
I'm writing this for you not so that you'll remember all the remarkable churches and art and architecture and pasta and cappuccino and scooters and cobblestones and landscapes and idiosyncrasies that create the charm and magic that is Italy. I know you'll recall all of that with or without my help. Rather, I am writing so that you'll remember your time with your brother and his family, The Ramblin' Fam.
I want you to remember that time in Matera when Graham wore little green elf pants all day and Alaina wouldn't sleep in our cave hotel and I coughed up several lungs and got grumpy and forgot to bring the baby formula and Alaina almost lost her mind at 5 in the morning because there was no milk in the room. No milk until Tony got frustrated and just went out despite my insistence that nothing would be open on a Sunday morning in a little town in Italy. He thew his hands up in the air, turned around, and, to his astonishment, found several jugs of milk sitting on a chair just outside our room. Christmas miracle. And Alaina's first go at real milk. Success.
And then, of course, there was Christmas at our house when you got to be Santa and we carried on your family tradition of eating sausage fondue and you got caught up in a world of Legos. Best of all, though, was when we were all together, gathered 'round the computer listening to the joy in your other brother's voice as he told his engagement story to us. Bliss.
|Hope you don't mind my stealing your photo, Matt and Emily...|
Obviously, you won't forget seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. Oh wait. That's right. The line was endless. Endless on the one day we had scheduled for you to see the Vatican. Good thing you tossed that coin over your right shoulder into the Trevi fountain, though. Because you will return to Rome. You must.
Hopefully, you remember going to Pompeii with Tony and discussing his future plans while you sat in an ancient fast food joint (and then got kicked out of the ancient fast food joint). You're on your own with that one, though, because I wasn't there. I was tending to the children so that they would be happy and healthy as we rang in the new year at our friend's house. Don't forget the fireworks, Libbey. The fireworks! Or the champagne and how it left us feeling like toast the next morning when we were supposed to drive to Florence.
I know Florence will never leave your memory. Not because of the Duomo or the David, but because of the ride you got to have inside our car on (not in) the back of a tow truck on our way there. If not for your excitement coupled with Graham's, I would have gotten grumpy again. How could I, though, when you exclaimed that riding on (not in) a tow truck was the highlight of your trip to Itlay?
Oh, and then we got sick in Florence. Blah. Barf. Ruined an entire night and day and another night for Alaina and me, but you skated by with just a couple of pukes. Lucky.
I also don't want you to forget the millions of times we stopped for bottles and how Alaina has to have her milk at just the right temperature or she won't drink it. Remember stopping at two cafes on the drive to Positano to get it juuuust right? Or how Alaina wanted nothing but your arms when you first arrived, but then took a turn and decided she wanted all mom all the time? Or how she got better and better at squirming around on the floor with her army crawl each day you were here? Progress.
Or Graham? And his Grahamness? How he desperately wanted a belt? All the Nutella you ate with him? His constant questioning and desire to converse? I'll never forget walking in on you in our little kitchen in Florence. You were telling him all about how eating healthy food now will allow him to grow strong so he can eat more sweets in the future. I love your logic. Delightful.
I can only hope you enjoyed your time with us as much as I loved having you here. You're one in a million. You're certainly the only person I'd ever let give my child a slingshot for Christmas.
Come back real soon.
I'm gonna need your help with this one.