May, seems a lifetime ago, and yet, here we are again in the midst of the predictable second dose of coronavirus. We are all sick of it by now, if not sick from it, and we still have those who will not concede its existence. In the meantime, I have gone from one hotspot to another. A return to the Big Apple from the Eternal City. For those of you who have followed by inconsistent postings over the years, the one constant has been my undying love for my two cities. Ask me my preference on anything, but don’t ask me to choose between Rome and New York.
I saw the smirk of disbelief on many faces when we announced our umpteenth move. In the midst of a pandemic? Yes, and we’re bringing the cat too.
So why leave family and friends and (especially at the time of our move) a relative safe haven from the pandemic? The short answer is the pulsating beat of New York’s heart. The longer we stayed away the greater the heartache. The exact same feeling that had brought us back to Rome almost a decade ago. What about the kids? The kids are fine. In the midst of what is probably the craziest year I have ever lived through; the kids have been our anchor. They were imprisoned for three months in one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. They literally did not set foot outside of the house from March 5 to May 16. And yet, they sang from the balcony, sat for hours in Google Meets and Zoom calls for school and generally were troopers despite their formative years being flipped upside down and basically stolen from them.
A change of city, albeit a return to their birthplace, and a change of school was actually a welcome distraction from this leap year.
The resilience of children never ceases to amaze me. Despite their immaturity, they often feel like the grown-ups. There is a naïve acceptance within them that allows for a more rapid assimilation and acceptance of change and diversity. They don’t share our anxious nature because they haven’t learned it yet. Sure, they sense what’s going on; it is part of their unsatiable curiosity. They read parents and adults like open books, part of a primordial instinct that allows them to sniff out bullshit a mile away. Their questions are always laser focused and disarming. You find yourself seeking your partner’s gaze for help or falling over words you form to try and formulate an answer.
So here we are. The kids adapted and the parents tossing and turning worrying that they are not able to cope with change.