insieme = together
panolino = nappy
scrittrice = writer
laurea = degree
maestra laureata = professional teacher
paura = scared
bagnetto = little bath/ baby bath
calzini = little socks...that's what I really like about Italian. The words can change according to the size of the subject. 'Etto' or 'ini' or 'ina' tacked on to the end of a word mean small. 'Ona', 'oni', etc. are for larger subjects. For example, sometimes Giuseppe calls me 'Mammina' which is 'little mother', which I love because my great-grandmother was permanently called Mammina and she was a gorgeous, sweet-natured lady. I never knew her, but my family always tell me fond recollections of her.
I learnt 'insieme' from a discussion with Giuseppe's mum, Teresa. We are living 'insieme' and it's great, but we all know that everyone needs their privacy and each family unit should keep separate dwellings. Fantastic that we share this understanding. There is a possibility we could move into the apartment next door. Finding an apartment with cheap rent in Italy is like finding a square cut record of The Red Hot Chili Peppers hit 'Taste the Pain' signed by Flea, the bass player and 'Happy Bday' scrawled beneath his signature. Oh wait a minute... I have a square cut record of The Red Hot Chili Peppers hit 'Taste the Pain' signed by Flea, the bass player and 'Happy Bday' scrawled beneath his signature. And so the universe unfolds and reveals that anything is possible. My dear cousin Vince bought me that record. And so yet again, family pulls through and gives you support, opportunities - what you need.
'Paura'... I asked how to say 'scared' in Italian because I don't like to cut Valentino's nails, I am thoroughly frightened to, because he is so flinchy and never sits still. Teresa chuckled and cut his nails for me, whilst calling out to me from the other room how I don't need to be afraid.
Sometimes it overwhelms me, the feeling of protectiveness over my son. The feeling that I could die if he were ever badly hurt. Now I understand my father a lot more, how he used to fret, overly concerned and on edge if my sisters and I were to be in any situation other than 100% safe. I get it. I also get how I am supposed to work hard at it, to control and subdue the intensity of these feelings; to not let them overwhelm me. If I truly want to protect my son, I will do so without panic and without the extra layers of cotton wool.
I asked my sister Lucia about her extended stay in Italy. She lived in Florence for three years. I asked her 'when did it stop feeling like you were on holiday, and start to feel like you actually lived there?' She replied 'When I started working'.
So, within a week of being here in Italy, I started my quest to find work. Not only for the 'I'm living here' feeling, but, of course, also for the pride of working and to help support my family.
I created my European CV and emailed it together with my own detailed CV. All in English, for now, as I am only applying for work at English schools. It had only been a few days and I had started to fret, leaping into self-doubt and all of that rubbish that I spiral into when I succumb to negative thoughts; beginning to think that I wouldn't get any replies or opportunities to work. Totally unnecessary... because today, I have an interview at an English school in Verona.
It's a new day... with each new day there are new words, new strengths and new opportunities.