Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mia bella figlia

Dear Scarlett,
You are out with Nonnie, Aunt Cathy, and Baby Jack. I am using this delightful quiet time to get things done. There is still laundry to fold, Italian homework to finish, and, oh, I don't know, an entire house to organize before moving day. But I'd rather write to you.

You have been learning Italian for about 10 months at school, and we practice at home, too. My Italian is extremely basic, but we read books together and look up words we don't know. Your favorite words are animal names, like pippistrello (bat) and scoiattolo (squirrel.) Your interest in the language varies. Sometimes you are so excited to look up words. "How do you say brick in Italian?" "How do you say stop sign in Italian?" Other days you scream at me when I dare to use my limited skills to ask you what you ate at school.

Then last week we had a serious breakthrough. One of your teachers informed me that you were speaking Italian in class. Apparently, you were building an art garden with a group of your friends, and having a conversation about funghi (mushrooms.) "Funghi, funghi everywhere!" you proclaimed.

I'm not sure how impressive that actually is, but your teacher was so excited. "She's trying!" she smiled at me. And since then, you really are. Dad will ask you what you did one day. "Niente," you'll respond. It's not true, but it's in Italian! I heard you in your room the other day yelling "Stamattina! Stamattina!" (it means "this morning") at the top of your lungs. Actually, the whole neighborhood probably heard you. And it was afternoon, but so what?

You even go so far as to use entire phrases. "Ancora una volta one more time!" you'll say when you want something to happen again. That one is always in both Italian and English. It's so fun to hear you speaking another language. I'm taking lessons once a week, and I really look forward to the time when we can have an entire conversation about Dad right in front of him and he won't know what we're saying!

Another June highlight is the fact that we are moving to a new apartment (with an elevator) while our new house is renovated. We got the keys today, and both you and I saw the place for the first time. It's lovely, and--in real estate speak--cozy. It's in a sunny neighborhood, we'll be a 5-minute drive from your preschool, and AT&T Park is right outside our door. I think it will be a fun place to spend 6 months. You must be so confused about what is going on with our living arrangements. We're still in our old place, we keep taking you to the new house, where you "check on the flowers", and now we've introduced you to this random new apartment. As of today, you literally have three bedrooms you can call your own.

Quello che una vita interessante!