There’s no such thing as perfection. Every family has its fair share of suffering and challenges. And we’re no different. My brothers and I caused a great deal of heartache for my amazing Bella Mama. And she was a true Bella Mama; as she always stood by us and held our hands on life’s path – despite the twists, turns and detours.
And then there are my children who are responsible for every single grey hair on my head. And while they grew up to be amazing adults there were times when they were no angels. And I had my doubts.
Back in the day, I only had one rule. You had to finish high school. I figured one step at a time as I accompanied them on their journey. The college discussions, I figured, would have to come later
Take my son Guido for example. He was a bright but bored student. To get him to turn up at his high school classes took some doing.
So I made it very simple. I said. “If I can’t trust you go to school then it looks like I’ll just have to go with you. And I will sit next to you.” It’s funny the things that will motivate a kid.
Needless to say he went on to graduate high school and was ready to move out and on his own soon after.
And I said to Guido, “Hey, now remember there’s still college.”
“College? You said all I had to do was graduate high school,” he exclaimed.
“I lied,” I said.
But I thought I’d also give him a little leeway.
So off he went to live with a roommate three streets away. I remember telling him, he had my blessing. His father had another opinion entirely which I cannot print here.
Guido lasted three months before he ran out of money and called to ask if he could come home.
And I said, “Of course!”
He then said that he’d move back in two weeks after he got back from a trip to Florida.
“Florida? He had money to take a trip to Florida but not pay rent?” I asked. His logic baffled me. But it wouldn’t be the first time.
My husband always had an age limit for how long the kids could stay at home. It was 54 years old. When Guido came back home to live, I was thinking Guido just might hit the age limit.
It took Guido awhile to make his way to college. There were lots of stops and starts and bumps in the road. But he finally got on track, and went first to community college and then university. He graduated with honors and I didn’t even have to threaten him.
And you know, it’s the oddest thing – for a boy who didn’t like to go to class he became a teacher.
This reminds me of something my mother once said. She said, we’re all angels. It’s just that some halos take more polishing than others.