Well, I'm going strong on day two of All Saints vacation. The boys are off from school for a week and a half (they return a week from Thursday) which means that I am working twice as much as usual. Besides the normal 3 - 8 p.m., this week I'm also helping out 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. (and getting paid a little extra as well). I'm also the only au pair at this point, before the next girl arrives on Thursday, but I'm almost convinced that it's easier to work by myself. The boys don't have as much room for manipulation... ;)
I admit that this new schedule took some getting used to. I usually have all morning to gear up for the kids, but this week I have to be up and at 'em immediately. Yesterday, I was so tired at the end of the day that I fell asleep without turning out the light. To former roommates of mine, I am certain that this comes as no surprise. To Mariacarla and Pasquale, however, it came as a bit of concern. I think Mariacarla, on the way to the boys' room, passed by at some extremely late hour of the night. Seeing the light still on in my room, she assumed I was still awake, and the next morning she asked me if I'd had trouble sleeping. After I explained that I fell asleep with the light on, she beseeched me to remember to turn out the light -- I was wasting so much energy! (I don't actually know what electricity costs in Rome, but it must be pretty high.) They even offered to buy me a small night light if I had a problem with the dark. Ha! But really, they are so sweet. They said they would give me money and I could go to the light store myself and pick out a style that I preferred. So sweet. So I promised to turn it out tonight.
Today was a little bit easier. For one thing, Mariacarla was at home all day (yesterday she was teaching) so she could keep one boy while I played with the other. When Pasquale is the only parent at home (as was the case yesterday) the most he does is put the boys "in punishment" which means the naughty one has to sit in the parents' room, without playing, for a period of time. It does calm things down, but it happens only after things get intolerable. Today, both boys were on much better behavior because they weren't able to provoke each other in the first place. The other advantage was that on Tuesdays there are swimming lessons. An hour at the pool creates a welcome diversion from the humdrum of staying at home all day.
At the end of the day, as I was getting ready for dinner and Mariacarla was getting some grapes for the boys, I noticed that there was a lot of the grape vine still attached. That led to a discussion about the vocabulary, in which I learned that "vine" is vite in Italian. Mariacarla brought up Jesus' illustration of how He is the vine and we are the branches (in Italian, of course). I got so excited that I recognized the verse and started quoting it to her in English. So I will leave you with John 15:5 in both Italian and English. It's a good reminder and encouragement for me, this week.
Io sono la vite, voi siete i tralci. Chi rimane unito a me, ed io a lui, produce molti frutti. Senza di me, invece, non potete far nulla.
(I like the fact that la vite for "vine" is similar to la vita for "life"...)
|Grape vines from wine making last month.|
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.