Saturday, July 4, 2009

The List

If Eugene were to have a "life to-do" list it might look something like this:

-  See the Great Wall of China
-  Own a business
-  Take a cooking class in Italy
-  Live in another country
-  Own a motorcycle

Which is why when he discovered a cooking class in Bologna (the mecca of Italian cuisine) he didn't even think twice before signing up. Since the class was going to be 4 hours long, we had to make specific plans on where I was going to take the girls and where we'd meet up later. I have to admit while I was so happy that Eugene was able to fulfill one of his life goals, I was a little apprehensive about being alone with the girls in an unknown place. But I was quick to remind myself that this is also what I love most about traveling. The unknown.

With Mia strapped to me in the Bjorn and Bella strapped in the stroller we headed out in search of a four hour adventure. While we strolled I thought about my life to-do list. Or the lack of it, actually. What are my hopes and dreams for the future? I admire Eugene because he knows exactly what he wants. I on the other hand, find it difficult to dream past my husband and kids. This is what I wanted for so long and don't get me wrong, I love it. I
really love my life. But what do I want for the future? I don't know if it's that my day to day life is so busy with kid stuff that I don't even have a moment to think about the future? Shit, I barely have time to shower most days. Or am I using that as an excuse? Is it okay that I don't have my answers yet? Thankfully, my self-analysis was interrupted by Bella screaming "mommmmmy......a paaarrrkkk!!!"

We spent the next thirty minutes exploring a random park in the center of Bologna. Mia discovered just how cool a slide can be.

Bella rode the duck. Over and over again...loving life.

On a park bench, I once again drifted back to thoughts about my future. Eugene and I always talked about moving to Italy one day. In my mind I always thought it would be after our children are grown--a post retirement rendezvous. However, this trip did something to me: I witnessed a better life there. I noticed Europeans enjoying life more than Americans do. They aren't obsessed with having the nicest car or the biggest paycheck. Instead, they respect their peers, their country, and their environment. I love it! They simply appreciate their history. They don't tear down to rebuild, they reinvent their past. Mocking my thoughts, Bella sat and depreciated this history as she toyed with a crumbling tile.

and kicked up her feet in the middle of the piazza.

Could I leave my family? My home? My comfort zone? Would I be happy here? Or is it a vacation illusion--where everything is always better?

While I questioned what lies ahead, across town Eugene squealed with glee as he learned how to make fresh tortellini's.

Eugene was in heaven, and we were wandering. We headed to the Sala Borsa library. The BEST library I have ever been to. Get this--the lobby floor is all plexiglass because they discovered Roman ruins below and allow the public to see these ruins. How cool is that??!!! ROMAN RUINS!!!! I'm lucky if our library has a basement, let alone ancient history.

I loved the contrast of the ancient architecture with ultra modern design. Bella loved all the colorful books while Mia looooved the squishy mats. It's a "remove your shoes and wear socks" kind of childrens section.

We were surrounded by books

we couldn't understand.

My girls were happy...innocently happy. At this moment I realized that I was in peace. Then I thought about my list and my definitions for future bliss and an overwhelming satisfaction filled me. I felt confident knowing that even though I may not have all the answers, today was perfect.  

-  Baby steps, Gina.

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