28 July, 2013

An aperitivo with an Italian bebè

Last week we went out for an aperitivo (drink) with our landlords.  I was looking forward to meeting them properly, and thought they might know some interesting places to go.  Sabina mentioned in her email that they have a three-month old baby.  I could tell from the gushing emails from Sabina that she was a head-over-heels-in-love-with-her-baby mother.  She was so excited, she said, to introduce us to her baby.

I was less excited.  I wasn't dreading it, by any means.  I just hoped it wasn't going to be one of those awkward occasions.  You know, the old "expect the worst" feelings we always seem to have around events like this.  (More accurately, it should be "expect the worst, and makes yourself feel horrible in the process.") Anyway, I shouldn't have done that.  Because anticipating the worst doesn't actually help.  And besides, it was fine.

Our landlords were very nice, the baby was beautiful and happy and calm the entire time, and the only time it was mentioned that we didn't have children was when I volunteered the fact.  It was in fact a very pleasant evening (despite the humidity and heat), and I almost found myself wishing I'd asked if I could hold the baby.  Just for fun.  Not to torture myself.  Not to imagine what it would have been like to have had my own.  No.  Just for fun.  That's how good it was.

And the only reason I write about it here, is to provide evidence that it does get easier.  (Yes, I'm ten years on, and so I imagine a lot of people would roll their eyes and say "about time!"  But that's another post.)  I know it might often seem that it is easy for me to say it.  But I think when we recount real life encounters where we feel fine afterwards, it counts as actual evidence.  And so I hope it helps you too.

A small PS.  Sabina and I communicated via email.  She wasn't confident with her English, and I wasn't confident with my Italian.  So I'd double-check what she was saying with Google Translate.  The name of her baby - which is a beautiful name I think - always translated as "detrimental."  I hope she never discovers that particular fact.


  1. I agree with you that it's good to have experiences like this and to write it down so that others get encouraged by it. I think it's tough to know when it's gonna feel OK and when it's not gonna feel OK, but I can relate anticipating the worst before this kind of meeting he he he...though it's true that it's not always helpful, but I suppose it's our own automatic self-defense mechanism? I remember feeling scared to meet a pregnant lady but turned out it was OK 'coz she didn't merely talk about herself and her pregnancy he he...

  2. What a lovely post, full of hope and healing.

    And that last paragraph made me laugh. (-:

  3. ah, to hold the bebe, or not. To offer or to ask (or not).
    Glad to read Italy is treating you well.
    If you are coming to or near Amsterdam will you let me know?
    my gmail.com is valeryvalentina@

  4. I don't think I've ever had a problem being around my friend's kids or meeting people and their kids. Some I find adorable, others, with some serious behavior problems, not so much. I play with them, hug and kiss them, and sometimes feel happy to walk away and come to my quiet home. I have a more difficult time being around pregnant women, or being around the moms when conversation is pretty much centered around motherhood, and it is phrased in a way that makes me feel left out.

  5. Thanks for sharing the evidence, you referenced. Sometimes it does feel easier when you can see the perspective of someone further along the path and that they are okay and life is good. It gives me the hope and courage to accept my life as it is in the present. Thank you.