Thursday, April 6

Thursday is market day and I forgot how early they set up and how noisy set up is.  This was the earliest the Mayers woke up since we’ve been here: eight o’clock.  We wanted to be up “early” though because it was Ryan’s first day of school and I wanted to get out early in order to be home early and in time for naps.  Big plans today! 

We set out a little earlier than necessary with plans of walking through the market, but because it’s still early spring, there weren’t tons of vendors out and the boys were not impressed.  With about forty-five minutes to kill, the boys and I walked slowly and stopped at some of the beach outlooks.  We turned into the Ospedale Bambino Gesu because they have a big grassy area overlooking the sea for the kids to run around.  While I was pregnant with Leo, I visited the offices here a few times, but never went to this part; we discovered that they not only had this area for kids to run around, but there was a pediatrics office too.  That information could have come in handy two years ago.  Jude and Henry ran around playing Super Boys until they discovered a “gecko” that they proceeded to study the rest of our time there.  Leo befriended an older girl who was doing cartwheels.  He would walk up behind her, throw his body on the ground and laugh.  She didn’t seem amused, but she did sit down with him and let him put flowers in her hand then steal them back.  Never once did she smile.

Finally we were able to go to Vincent’s house the boys were eager to play on his trampoline.  For over an hour, the boys entertained themselves while Eleonora and I did mom talk in the sun.    As we were getting ready to leave and I was loading up two kids in the stroller and one in the carrier, she asked if people stop me all the time to make comments.  All. The. Time.  In fact, not far from her house some construction is going on and two workers just stopped what they were doing to stare at me put Henry in the Ergo on my back.  The continued to gape and stare as I walked down the street and out of their line of vision.  My three boys and I are complete curiosity to most people we see and it’s hysterical because it’s my life. 

Something not so hysterical is the tornado that descends upon the store every time we go in; it probably takes them a half day to recover.  Henry was exhausted and crying, Jude spilled half a bag of peanut butter pretzels and we hadn’t even been inside a full sixty seconds.  One signora stared and pointed disgustedly at our mess and asked the cashier what that was.  A few minutes later she scolded Henry for touching packaged cheese.  Clearly she was not the kind who thinks all children can do no wrong.  Thankfully a much kinder signora said we could go ahead of her in line and I asked her if I looked that desperate. Everybody in line laughed, but I think they were really nodding their head in agreement. 

Naps and quiet time happened and that was helpful.  I spent much of that time corresponding with Giorgia, the housekeeper, about the lack of electricity in our outlets. This is a bigger concern to me today since the flat iron I bought is garbage and I only have three headbands.  After several messages, phone calls and picture texts, she concluded that a technician needs to come out and fix some wires.  Super.  The Mayers strike again. 

Dinner tonight was at Bogi and Peter’s.  Thankfully since their son goes to bed at a normal time, we were able to go over early like Americans do.  Jude recently bought a Roma notebook and has been writing down things we’ve eaten in it, so he immediately asked Bogi for the evening’s menu: clam and mussel sauté, spaghetti with lobster sauce, grilled shrimp and fruit tiramisu.  I wasn’t just saying it to be polite: Peter’s clams and mussels were the best thing we’ve eaten here so far.  Bogi’s tiramisu was a close second.  We always say this, but we really wish we had met them earlier in our stay.  They are so kind and fun and quirky and we just really enjoy their company.  Bogi wants to go to San Francisco for her thirtieth birthday and we’re really hoping they do.  Tonight was probably the last time we’ll see them before we go and I hope we don’t need to wait another two years before we see them again.  What a sweet, sweet family.

Our trip is almost over; we only have two full days left.  I am suppressing my urge to pack and organize and I really want to just enjoy myself and the experience of being here.  I don’t think I realized how much stress I put upon myself when it comes to planning the day-to-day activities in our life.  I major in minor things.  Here it’s been very odd to find myself with nothing to do, nothing to clean, nothing to make.  Believe me, I’ve been told HUNDREDS of times that I relax and stop trying to do so much, but for one I didn’t think it was possible and two I didn’t feel like I was overdoing anything.  While I understand that this is a vacation and not a reality, I’m hoping that this little dose of self-realization can stick with me and help me to keep a little perspective. 

The kids are in bed and I think Ryan may be asleep too.  I’m not feeling tired even though I know that I should go to sleep since we’re getting up early for mass at Saint Peter’s tomorrow.  I think I’m going to go ahead and pour a glass of wine and just sit here and enjoy the silence and the fact that I have two more days of vacation.

Okay, just kidding, I’m going to bed.  It’s after ten o’clock and this isn’t mardi gras!