Family memories

After a very quiet August at work, I spent a couple of weeks in Italy, relaxing and enjoying the sun and the ice creams and all that (but also dreaming of far away lands to explore…), to come back to a rainy and chilly London, and still not much to do at work…

Pallino is a joy. He’s speaking a lot more in Italian since the holidays, and he had such a good time with his grandparents! I never had a proper relationship with my grandparents. My grandfathers both died when I was quite little, although I remember walking with my maternal grandfather when I was about 4. He was a sweet man, probably overpowered by the strong women in the family, from what I heard of him. My maternal grandmother raised me with my mum. My dad was away for work for long periods and my mum would stay with her mother when he was away, so I spent a lot of time with her.  I remember her cooking, singing rhymes, looking after me and my sister. But I don’t remember ever doing things together out of the house or playing with her. And she never talked about herself or her past. I don’t think we ever had a good relationship, but at least we saw each other all the time.

I cannot say the same for my paternal grandmother. We rarely met and when we did, she didn’t show any kind of affection for us. Now that she’s eighty and goes to lunch at my parents’ on Sundays, she’s somehow softened with the age and tells interesting stories of her life. She knows lots of things and has been in lots of places. She watches Formula 1. She lived in South America for several years. Such an interesting person, but I cannot shift that feeling that she wasn’t there when she should have been.

So now, watching Pallino with his grandparents is amazing for me. They don’t spend much time together because we live abroad, but they love each other. It takes 5 minutes for them to catch up after months and Pallino learns so much with them.

Hopefully Pallino’s memories of his grandparents will be warmer than mine.


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