Friday, August 1, 2008

the fruit of our labors

as far as they can see

It's been slightly over a year since we moved our family from Italy to Colorado. It's hard for me to imagine that it's already been a year, or that it is only a year. I feel as if I have always been here, and my separation from my life as Jenny can be jolting. I struggle with feeling as if I should feel some other way... I should feel transformed or relieved. Instead I often feel strangely at home. It is an at home feeling that I never truly found in Italy, even though my years there were happy and full.
Leaving was hard. I've had to start over with none of the trappings that we accumulated over fifteen years. No furniture, no bicycles, no ski equipment, no pots or pans came with us. What's more, no friends came with us. We still own our home in Italy, so we have started from scratch here, literally scraped together enough money for a down payment on a home and been through enough haggling to be approved for a mortgage. If it were up to me alone, I would sell our Italian home, but my husband has let go of so much and been such a hero that I dare not go there quite yet. Everything has it's time.

So it's been an adventure. And hard. And sometimes I forget where we've been, what life was like a year ago, what I wanted before all of this started. And then I think of my children.

I desperately wanted to bring my children to America while they were still young. While we had always traveled to the US for long periods of time, I wanted my children to live here. I wanted them to fully inhabit their American halves, to be completely bilingual and bi-cultural. I wanted them to have every single door open to them. I wanted them to have the chance to attend American schools and play American sports. I wanted them to have the chance to have summer jobs and go to a school dance. I think my children have had the absolute best of both worlds- their infancy in Italy and their adolescence in America. I was keenly aware of the limitations in Italy after middle school and high school. Many of their friends would never quite leave home. Many of them, even the most educated, would find it difficult to find a job, and those that did might not feel free to change their minds and try something new. Many of them would not have the life changing experiences I did when I left home at 17. Life in Italy as an adolescent holds less excitement about the future than it does here. And less unknowns.

So now, a year later, it is a joyful reminder to witness the flowering of my children. The freedom and hope and excitement they feel for the future. The invincibility of having so many opportunities. The luck and good fortune to have so many doors open, to speak two langauges and be learning a third, to see the world through eyes that are wide open. As far as they can see.

The fruit of our labors.


jen said...

beautiful, J. and very well done.

Carol said...

It sounds like you made exactly the right choice.


anno said...

It is wonderful to watch our children unfold and bloom. After the year you've had, it's good to know you still see the possibilities in the choices you've made. Beautiful post.

Greg said...

May you continue to be blessed by the fruits of your labors.