Do What You Can…

Posted on July 27, 2011


Dear Polished Nails,

Hot pink…on a 7-year-old! THIS was NOT my idea I promise! I would never allow such a thing on any kid unless I got the parental permission to paint a little boys nails (you never know…) but this is what I witnessed this afternoon. I was on my computer in the living room and my bedroom door was shut. I knew this because I closed it when I saw the kids playing in their own room next to mine. I felt a reason that they might enter…they never have but obviously I felt something coming today! I heard giggling and I had a feeling so I snuck up on them and they were, sure enough, in my doorway…looking guilty! I could smell paint and I prayed that it wasn’t spilled all over my things or all over the nice floor here….! I asked what was going on and Tommaso hid his hands behind his back and I thought that he had something of mine but when he showed me I tried not to laugh and explain that it was not OK! His mother and nana were here at the house so they saw too and T made sure that she was clear that neither one of them EVER go into my room without me and without my permission…Hot pink nails…mamma mia! He let them dry and I only had a minor clean up on my desk.

Earlier in the morning when I was having breakfast Matteo was eager to talk me into helping him create “puppets” or in Italian marionetta. After he came in and out of the kitchen a few times asking if I was “almost finished?” in his perfect English I couldn’t help but feel rushed but I didn’t mind! They use a lot or short words or expression more and more lately. A few are, “oh my goodness!” “maybe” “It’s fine” and a lot of “I don’t know!” I was sort of excited to help construct some sort of puppets with them today. I looked at what “materials” were set aside for such a creation and was not satisfied so I made a puppet that I knew how to make: using an old sock, some buttons and some funky material for hair and a silly mouth! He laughed and watched me intently while I was sewing buttons and creating silly white hair for our “Mr. Snake!” He reminded me to be very careful since the needle was sharp! Tommaso came over to ask what we were doing with “dirty socks!” and made us laugh by making fun of us saying they were smelly because they were mine! This kid has some serious humor and makes me really laugh. By the time that we finished and started our second sock puppet with a mustache he became bored and we never put on our “spettacolo” (show!)I joked with Matteo about pulling his super loose tooth with some string and he almost let me but I couldn’t bring myself to yank it out!!!  By then nana was ready to take them to the park and told me that either I could take them or she would and the other would stay home and clean the kitchen and take out the trash. I was hoping for a little free time so that I could go and visit a place for my sister when she comes so I assured her that I would have the kitchen ready for lunch and she could trust me to take care of all the trash. I think that I have shared before that the trash here is a big deal! All the plastic, glass and paper have their own bins and the “organic/compost” man comes only once each morning for one hour so you must catch him to toss your old food.

After I took out the garbage I went to find the address near my street where the said “Bed & Breakfast” was. I found it with no problem but there was no one there! I then had to come home and turn on the computer to make the call. I turned to the tiny travel laptop since it is much faster than my computer and called within 3 minutes. A nice older gentleman answered but told me that he had to call his father and then he would call me right back. I waited by the phone for a short few minutes then agreed to meet him back at the location in ten minutes. I arrived and he was a sweet old dude and showed me the room. All I kept thinking was this man’s father must be in late 90’s or 100’s!! A nice full room and bath but no kitchen…”breakfast” was a station in the doorway with individual wrapped pastries and an instant coffee-maker…not my idea of a kitchen whatsoever! Plus it was 90 a night! I got him down to 75 but still was not worth it for not having a kitchen to cook in! I told him that I would let the girls know and they would contact him through his website if they were interested. No they won’t..sorry man.

After lunch Jurassic Park entertained us and made us scream and hide our faces from the action! They would run around, jump on and off the couch and scream for me to skip to the next scene by shouting, “avanti!!!” I would laugh but skip ahead so they wouldn’t get too scared! Soon nana returned and we had the TV full blast with wild dinosaurs roaring and she came over with a tiny piece of thread. She was not even around when I “joked” about yanking his tooth old-school style! She tied the string and  pulled his  tooth!!! “Look! Blood!” He shouts at me and I turn and hide my face! Ewww I can’t stand blood, even a tiny bit in a child’s mouth!! I was proud that even during all the excitement he still spoke English to us! We laughed and paused the film and Matteo was proud there was no pain and “Topolino” (The Tooth Fairy Mouse!) was coming with a nice gift for him!

By the time that S came home from work nana was just leaving and I was reading in Tommaso’s bed with him. This is the first time that he invited me at their house. In Tarquinia we got into a routine for about 4-5 days where we would read together before bed. S came in to greet us and was not only surprised to see me reading with Tommaso but once they told them (speaking fast and excitedly at the same time!) about their day watching Jurasic Park (twice!) and Matteo’s yanked tooth S immediately noticed Tommaso’s hot pink nails! He looked at me like I was the guilty one! He laughed with wide eyes and told Tommaso that the fear that he has for the hot pink on his son’s hands is like the fear that I have for blood…like the fear that Tommaso has for the “scary scenes” in the movie today! It is coming off tomorrow…!

After a nice dinner chat with S he told me these beautiful words of advice, “fai quel che puoi, accada quel che deve” which basically translates to  “do what you can (what you are able)  and what happens is what must…” THE TRUTH! Sounds so much better in Italian let me tell you! He shared some more Latin based wise words and I felt so much better. We spoke about my sister coming here to Rome, about my experience and about “that guy.” It is strange the excitement and eagerness that I had about coming here to Rome. The decision came so easily knowing that I had nothing to expect…just to go and see something new. Going home has got me nervous. More nervous than leaving Reno so many months ago! It is strange what this place has done to me…exciting and confusing. Well as the wise words go….Whatever happens…it must!



Posted in: When in Rome