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IMG_3447One blog post and two days later, I have moved past “beginning to plan” and have three pages of references for an Italian adventure.  No, I haven’t booked flights yet.  It’s not time to book flights.  I am, however, in dreamy travel mode.  A heady time when everything is possible, every piece of art can be admired, every church walked through with hushed tones, every meal delicious. It is fun to indulge fully.  I haven’t found the dinosaur possibilities yet.  I will take travel books out of the library.  I take out a stack.  Later, I will buy one or two to carry, but first, I will abandon myself to the stack.

I have found two apps for my phone and Julia’s iPad.  I didn’t even look last year before our Mexican trip.  This year, I would like Julia to know how to be pleasant in Italian.  Since being pleasant in English is still a challenge for Julia at times, learning in a new language is a reinforcer of therapy goals.  Also, for myself, I want whatever help, language, maps, etc., that I can stuff onto my electronic devices.

Today’s lesson:

Me: Ciao, Julia!

Julia: Ciao, Mama.

M: Come stai?

J: Bene.

M: Now you say it to me.

J: I did.  I said bene.

M: It’s you turn to ask how I am.  Come stai?

J: Bene.

A few more interchanges of explanation before it was my turn to say, “bene, grazie.”

I was never fluent by any means but I could travel and shop, order from a menu and talk to the old ladies who picked dandelion leaves on the side of the road.  Um, I am probably older that most of those ladies whom I thought of as old.  I could live on the surface but could not follow in depth conversation.  Today, I would be very happy to get that surface communication back again.

Julia is on Spring break this week.  Madison empties out during this break, more so than during the winter holidays.  There is wisdom in traveling in the Spring.  Weather in Madison is unpredictable and the urge to be outside is over powering.  I was hoping to get out the bikes today and take a first ride of the year.  The morning was sunny and looked promising but by noon it was grey and damp.  Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps I’ll light a fire tonight.  Perhaps we should get up earlier tomorrow and take advantage of the sun no matter what time it shines.  I am less than vaguely jealous of those Facebook pictures of blooming gardens and beaches and need to remind myself that I could have . . .  .  We’ll be in Chicago for the weekend, not a beach or a garden but perhaps nice enough to walk around without raised shoulders.

We did learning work today.  Counting money for math, reading the end of Wings of Fire (Thank god!), another page and a half in her science book which was about the development of a seed, cello and Dr. Z movement (Julia copying a pattern of movement) and now a few hours of therapy for her.  Oh, and she is also learning how to do the wash.  Julia has been putting clean clothes into the laundry basket too often.  Usually because she takes something out and then decides to wear something else.  Instead of putting the rejected clothing away, she leaves it on the floor and then sweeps everything up at the end of the day and deposits it in the laundry basket.  Most of the time it’s hard for me to figure out which was the clean piece of clothing but I found a perfectly folded shirt in the basket and it was a perfect day to learn laundry.  After supper, she will be folding.

Julia practices cello mostly by herself.  This started as a suggestion from her teacher and I agreed as long as she followed her teacher’s notes on what to practice.  Sometimes she gets stuck on getting the perfect intonation.  Not a bad thing except when she should be working on rhythm.  Today, I wanted her to practice the two consecutive up-bows in her current piece.  Her teacher has explained this and we watched a youtube video, but she hadn’t put it into the piece yet.  We practiced the measure where the two up-bows occurred and then worked slowly through the piece. She was able to do it.  I know that it will not be there tomorrow, but perhaps by next week.

After supper, there will be time for art.  Tomorrow, we’ll get to art sooner.  Julia is in the middle of three projects—beading, print making and pysanky writing. I wish she would finish her egg, and then do another, but I expect one of the first two will win out.  Julia will sit with me and do art as I work on my eggs, but doing the same thing as I am doing might just tax the code of 14 year old.

One more Italian thought:

Ci vediamo dopo!  See you later!  David and I taught Cheshire to say that when she was two.  She would stand at the top of the stairs of the Park Slope brownstone, and as David left for his evening shift word processing at the law firm, she would wave at him and say it with what we thought was a perfect Italian accent.  I will teach There is a line between doing what was good in the past and trying to re-capture some past.  This Italy dreaming comes with some dangers, some temptations.  Abiding with ghosts in order to freely move on is not a frivolous endeavor.