This year I was not so excited to go back to Italy: I knew the temperature would be crazily hot and, in all honesty, I was feeling quite daunted by the idea of leaving the comfort of my home with two small children. I knew since the very beginning that this holiday would be pretty hard and not really relaxing; in fact I was spot on: holidaying with two very small kids is not an easy task and I had several meltdowns during the three weeks spent in Italy.
We don’t return to Italy as much as we did before having kids so I was committed to make the most of my time here. I spent the first few days trying to create good memories despite the stress of having to run around all the time trying to meet the different schedules of Catherine and Harvey.
Eventually I realised that this holiday was not for me, nor for Harvey (who is way too small to even know where he is) and not even for my husband, this holiday was for Catherine: It was the first holiday she was fully aware of and she surely had a pretty good time. I’m so happy she enjoyed herself so much and that my mom could stay with us for a week: Catherine literally adores her and I really want their bond to grow stronger as my childhood memories with my grandparents are some of the sweetest and most cherished I have. Catherine will (probably) remember her first swims in the “deep” sea and I will remember the joyful expression on her face when she realised that grasping her swimming ring would make her float like a big girl.
I will remember her relief when at every “big” wave she would find my arm ready to catch her.
I will remember her asking me to play mermaids, her sand shovel always ready to destroy our sloppy castles, the endless shirts immediately stained by chocolate ice cream and the sweetest sounds she would make when finally starting to pronounce her first Italian words.
I still feel a bit frustrated with myself for often stressing about everything, for my constant need of planning and for my incapacity of just letting things go.Of course I will have some regrets but, as always, I will try not to get too upset about it. Harvey was not even 5 months old at the time and, being solely breastfed, he needed a lot of time and attention; I could have done better but I’m human after all. As I wrote here last year, vacation in Liguria always leaves me with a bittersweet taste. Beautiful memories from the past unavoidably surfaces hence I feel a bit nostalgic and, even if I wouldn’t want to live in Italy anymore, it’s always hard to say goodbye to everyone. In the end I will only carry with me the loud laughters of Catherine and Harvey (boy he giggles!) and forget, like us mums always do, all the hard moments. I’m very grateful for the time I had here and I’m very happy to know that Catherine had the chance to gather some lovely memories to carry with her wherever she’ll go.
Until next year my familiar Liguria.