Tuesday, September 22

rock steady mamma

One of the pros of not having our own yard: I am forced to go outside and play too. I'm forced to sit down, smell the breeze, and not be productive for at least an hour. And, I am joined by every other mother of every other child at the park.

This usually means chit-chat. I've become fairly fluent at Italian chit-chat... generally about school, kids activities, and what to cook for dinner. It generally degrades to complaining about how tired you and/or the children are or some insane new thing the school/teachers are trying.

It's not that I'm a big whiner, just that Italian mothers are genuinely curious about all the details of other people's family life... aka nosy.

This is a varied bunch of women. Young, punk, middle aged, grey haired, slacked and skirted. My favorite is the mother of twins. Rock steady mamma.

I LOVE talking to this woman. Nothing worries her. She is not hurried, annoyed, nor too ecstatic about anything. She is dressed casually, not sloppy. Not overdone or overattentive or negligent. The perfect balance. And no matter what I have to say, comment on, complain about, her response is always steady and encouraging.

This is in contrast to the vast majority of the other mothers at the park. The arms flying, eyes rolling, exasperated gasps. Heads shaking, hands slapping, calling and waving frantically at children, exploding over a grass stain or lamenting at a scraped knee.

I'll hide in the shadows with rock steady mamma. Average works out just fine in this case. Rock on mamma.


  1. sounds like you found your match ;)

  2. I read somewhere about Italian expressions. One man says to another about telephones : 'Well, you hold the reciever on one hand, and dial with the other hand'

    And the other man says, 'if one hand holds the reciever and the other hand holds the dial...how do i talk ?" !!

    Thats what i got reminded of on your story of the Italian moms !!

    Glad you found just the right company !

  3. They sound Italians :)

    I understand that Italians can't even say a simple no. It has to be a "nooooooouuuuuu"! Is this true?

  4. I wouldn't necessarily say that Italian mothers are that much different than American mothers. I go to the park with my kids on occasion (when I'm not working) with other mother friends and the conversation sounds roughly the same. Maybe we're not as dramatic, but there's a lot of complaining about school, children, husbands. Women just need to vent. It's cathartic.

  5. Of course it depends on the person. You can't really say "Italians..." and have it be anything more than a gross generalization. I like this island of solace I've found, just as I gravitated toward the more easy going moms in the US.

    I'll have to watch myself and make sure I don't generalize quite so much. ;)


...and you may ask yourself, well...how did I get here?