Monday, September 12, 2011

Dolphins and dandelions
Why does the medieval fair always take us by surprise? This year T asked aloud what country this couple wearing loose-fitting embroidered white tunics and red felt pants walking down the main street of Filungo was from.  Then she saw that the guy was carrying a real sword and said "oh yeah, duh, it's the medieval fair." The bummer was that the fortune teller took her job very seriously and refused to give T a reading because she didn't want to influence the course of her destiny. This both made me feel tender towards her and, then seeing the look on T's disappointed face, made me want to kick her in the shins. Peace out, little medieval lady. It is like the renaissance faire in Sterling forest of Tuxedo Park, NY, -- same sword fights, cannon blasts, flower crowns, etc. -- but everyone speaks Italian and the food is much better.

Where are the ye old fried corn dogs?

Today was also the birthday of Lorenzo's grandma, Paula's mamma, Stefano's mother-in-law, Chiara's nonna, you get the picture -- none other than Signora Martini. It was an honor to be invited to this blood relative-only shindig, and we brought F's now famous farro with fried zucchini flowers, luscious volcano chocolate cake, T's gorgeous fashion print birthday cards, and a pearl-encrusted, framed and photoshopped portrait of the signora with her nipoti. It was super cute when Chiara unveiled to her grandmother her hand painted Swarovski crystal swan logo. I love this family. I have gotten so comfortable with them that pretty soon I expect to make a big noisy fuss and get sent to my room.

Post vacation slide show everyone gets googly eyed. It's universal.

Nothing says family like Swarovski!

After the lunch, F got to see an adorable bike race where the expensive bici di corsa are paid for by sponsors and the kids who ranged from age six to sixteen were decked out in spandex. Stefano's cousin's son Tommaso was one of the three younger racers who coursed around parking lot of the big Carrefour department store.  Three took off around the building, but only two came back. I don't mean to worry you, but F has no further information on that front. Tommaso won decisively. Get on with your bad little biker cutie pa-tutie self!

After we had cake we looked at family slides of a recent vacation Paola's brother, his wife, and their parents took to Belize. I warned you. You can move to Tuscany and still get sucked into watching people's lengthy post vacation slide shows. That was not in the expat manual, but it should be. When the photos were done we showed them Mike the scientist's video (see three posts back) and did our pitch for why it would be great for Lorenzo to have a therapeutic experience swimming with dolphins.  I feel deep down it would really help him with his communication and empathy skills. For a bit today he and I were blissed out, sitting on his bed looking at illustrations with their names on the back, grouped in plastic folders according to categories like food, school, fruit, places etc. Paola objected when he wanted to turn down his perfectly made bed, but I convinced her to let him do it. Then I started singing "Give peace a chance" and told her that me and my little fidanzato were having a John and Yoko moment. This made us all laugh. Even Lorenzo.

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