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And even this year our summer’s  over.... 

Shit. 
I mean, is it possible that we left Rome with 39.5 ºC and arrived back in London with 15ºC? 
Don’t you think I am at risk of catatonia for the sudden change in temperature (not even between Mars and Venus such a difference of climate...) like I should just come out of the plane and keel over Gabriel’s trolley? 
Bah. 
I’m nevertheless still alive, back from two weeks in Rome and two days at Disneyland Paris that have scarred me inside (and outside ... See 'The Haunted Manor'... Disney my ass!! That ride was conceived by Satan himself...). 
We have been blessed by the weather, that was nothing short of sensational for the duration of our stay. 
We had lunch and dinner every day in the garden, Gabriel raised Armageddon with the inflatable paddling pool (or ‘the water park’ ... as grandma calls it, but she makes the special effects herself, standing on a chair pouring the watering can over Gabriel inside the pool .... She is too creative!), and I have 'pulled the plug‘  a little from the humdrum of everyday life. 
Then oh well, two days at Disneyland at the mercy of the French (by all means, I love them, but they managed to kill all the Disney Magic with their ‘Frenchness’.... In short, they really pissed me off.... But I will tell you in another post....) and so I have replenished the levels of stress that I was able to reduce during my Roman holiday, and now here I am: hubby in Milan for business, baby napping away and me here, on the sofa, trying to steal a couple of hours to write something meaningful. 
As perhaps some of you have already read the post by Nina Cerca, there was also the opportunity to know personally one of my fellow bloggers, Nina, in a meeting arranged just like that, without thinking. 
And all of a sudden Nina and her Man were in my garden drinking coffee with us. 
With 2000ºC in the shade. 
I don’t think I could add much more to the post she dedicated to our encounter without incurring in the adulatory, but for fuck’s sake Nina! 
At least you could have tried anyway! 
From her post Steven comes out as a hot guy that gets her knickers in a spin and me, I am sweaty, puffy-eyed and ‘walking slowly, like someone that doesn’t sleep much at night’ (...or someone whose artificial hip has been manufactured out of papier-maché). 
WTF Nina... :0)
Then she complains that I have not served any dessert. 
You got lucky with the coffee!!! 
But no, seriously, this was one of those meetings that 'had to happen' and I and Steven clashed with one of the many 'abnormal' realities that are still taboo in Italy. 
The reality of couples that are ‘otherwise fertile’ (to use a definition minted by Nina herself....). 
We would be sent to the stake because we had the audacity to have a child, they would be stoned in the town square because they have the misfortune not to have one yet and the audacity to want to try IVF. 
Out of this world!
I am happy to read in Nina’s post that our meeting has given her and her Man a great desire for optimism, because if it is true that my eyes are a little 'mashed up' from the sleepless nights and the heat, Nina’s eyes are the eyes of someone who cries often. 
Those two eyes, on such a sunny smile and  face, are completely out of place. 
And then her sweetness, her tenderness, her mothering nature, her gentle request  "Can I pick up Gabriel to feel how much he weighs?", while her Man caresses his little head... 
I can only imagine the bitterness that is generated by so much happiness, when that happiness belongs to others. 
I say this honestly. I've been there too and I'm not ashamed to say that I’ve envied. 
Envy is ugly, but it’s human and it’s the sister of Despair: two ugly bitches to run over with your car wherever you see them. 
We spoke about fertilization: heterologous, homologous, assisted, unassisted and all its variants, and for once we did not have to do little drawings nor mention Ricky Martin (who has greatly simplified the explanations I always give to people....).

For some people, as well as for us, (and Ricky ...) children are made this way. 
And those words, our story of the pregnancy achieved after years of waiting, were absorbed, sucked, enjoyed as only those looking for a bit of hope could do. 
My mother telling them how I was 'gotten' (conceived...), and me cringing and trying to eliminate from my mind the image of her with a pillow under her back and her legs in the air. 
Things I do not need to know.  
And my father sitting at the table nodding whenever we spoke of eggs, sperm donation, cryopreservation.... 
As if we were talking about some fertilizer for tomatoes. 
But basically we were ‘fertilizing’. 
We were fertilizing the hope of a wonderful couple that one day will experience our very same joy of having children. 
Our story, instead of being a freak show, has become a seed of hope and inspiration. 
A great gift for someone like me, who, having been raised a Catholic, sometimes think that one day I will have to contend with the Almighty for my arrogance of wanting to live like everyone else. Of wanting a family, the fruit of love more than the result of a well aimed ejaculation.
But maybe it was God himself (to use its common name ...) to put us in front of Nina and her Man with our story. 
One way for him to tell them "You see? There is hope for everyone! Now get busy, you've cried enough and nothing grows out of tears." 
It is the kind of shock that I wanted to give them. 
I am by no means diminishing the pain and the sorrow they must be feeling as a couple, but sometimes, when you concentrate on your under-achievements, you forget what an amazing person you are, and Nina and her Man are truly two of a kind. 
I just want them to know that and honour that with a good dose of optimism..
We were so absorbed in conversation that we did not have the time to even think about taking some photos (just to show you that I was not sweating, nor puffy-eyed.... You know that I’m not letting go of this one right?), nor even to pull out of the fridge the trifle I had made specially for the occasion. And Nina kindly remarks on that too.
So if now you think that I am a lousy, cheap host, well, be my guest (pun intended...). 
Call me cheap, but for God’s sake! After I spend a mortgage in skincare every month, please don’t say I am puffy-eyed! ;0)
Now I have to run as the Fürer has just awoken and he sounds pissed.
See you later! 
QFX