Family is the word I imagine when I think of what it means to be Italian. Well that and pasta. But only one will not cause your pants to fit. Mama Mia!
Scholars and philosophers have long recounted the bonds of the extended family and the closeness that seems to permeate every social transaction. The bustling, the noise and the traditions. But mostly the love …all the love.
The kind of family, we long to come from and belong to.
I will venture, however that the scholars never had to use google maps to navigate Italian streets. Honestly I am not surprised that most explorers got lost and wound up finding new worlds. It is treacherous out there.
Our family tradition seems to be having wild expectations about the outcome of experiences before they even happen. We build them up, change the landscape and arrive at picture perfect. You would think reality continually surprising us would help change our course.
Maybe it is because reality can be harsh that we hold out for something good, something so perfect that it will take our breath away.
I wanted this holiday to be so perfect that for a moment we could suspend our reality. We would laugh and explore new vistas. We would grow closer and define a new sense of what it means to be family.
But we are not entirely new. Some parts have changed about us but the core of who we are still remains. Softened perhaps but still a bit jagged. We are learning to live with ourselves and each other in this new world.
That is the grace of family though. Seeing through our imperfections and still loving each other anyways.
That and maybe ….stopping and asking for directions every once in a while.