I have sought support and guidance from my parents, my husband, and his parents, in the hopes of finding the best ways to help Boy. My parents, raised in the poetry of their native tongues (my father borne of an Italian mother, my mother borne of Parisian parents) bemuse themselves in guiding us with old sayings, many of which were repeated throughout their upbringings. And here I have combined a detail of part of our struggle with pitters of their "old world" words of wisdom.
Topolino- Little mouse.
He is vastly different than Trottola (spinning top), and they are a pair for generations to awe at, the serenity that flows between them, the peace that descends when they are together.
When Boy and Girl are together, it is the ultimate gift of siblinghood, and something we have been so honored to give them. They understand each other, and Girl, our Chatty Cathy knows, instinctively, all of her brother's needs.
A buon intenditor poche parole.
They don't need words to know each other.
Girl is patient with her brother, something uncommon for a 2 year old, and usually uncommon for her. He trusts her, and us, implicitly.
It wasn't until recently that the extent of this situation became clear.
Speaking to the teachers at their school, we discovered something we were hardly in a position to notice. Something that made his loving nickname ring a little more true.
Topolino is completely out of his depth without us. Without Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, or one of the family there, he disappears inside himself.
Human security blankets.
We don't even have to be with him! Just seeing us, sitting on the far side of the yard, or even through the window, he is an open and social little boy, like most others around him.
But, you take that security blanket away, and he crumbles in on himself, losing that confidence that radiates otherwise. He will sit there, legs curled, just watching what goes on around.
Almost no amount of coaxing will resolve his problem. No amount of invitations will get him joyfully involved. He will get "involved", because he has been taught that ignoring requests is rude, but he is the disinterested teenager, on the edge of the crowd, acting as if playing with toy cars (one of his FAVORITE activities) is equivalent to forcing his hand into an acid wash.
He is quite a peculiar tot.
My father has ventured:
Che sarà sarà.
What is to be, will be.
But how will this effect our little mouse?
We want him to blossom, no matter what the season, hoping that it is not asking too much.
If only he could speak his needs to us, but it doesn't work quite that way, now does it?
Fatti maschi, parole femmine. Basically: what he needs and what he can say don't match.
We want him to be able to have a life apart from us. To be able to take a weekend trip with a friend and enjoy it, even if none of us are there. We never imagined the idea of coddling that he is almost never without all of us. It is a fact, being the same age as his sister, they do the same things, and when they are apart, he has some sort of adult supervision. A parent, his aunt or uncles, or big sister.
We never imagined sending them to separate nannies, or leaving him with a stranger when he has family at home to watch him.
Noi non potemo avere perfetta vita senza amici.
Or can he? Can he be happy without friends (who aren't family)?
I hope to not find out.
My mother, (switching languages, but not direction) said to me:
J’ay ma foi tenu à ma puissance. Vise en espoir.
I have kept my faith as far as I am able. Look to the future.
He will come as far as he wills, and we must patiently wait for the turnover in that journey.
Chi sta bene non si muove.'
The aim for perfection might slow down progress.
But what about aiming for progress? We don't need any more perfection than he already is. But we'd like for him to ba able to spread his wings and catch the air.
May Gods will become ever clearer as we seek his guidance, and may we always remember:
Chi più sa, meno parla.