As we were on the train coming home from Milan, Roommate asked me if I was glad we tackled moving abroad with a baby, even though it has proved to be more difficult at times.
I responded with a definite yes.
Yesterday took my last Italian exam. As I left the oral portion and walked down the hall with my professor I had a momentary feeling of pride as I thought, “I’ve done this. I’ve learned a language well enough to do more than just communicate my basic needs and name 100 things. I can speak Italian.”
I think Ada gave me that gift. And what a gift to give your mama for Mother’s Day.
Without her, I would have had 100 fewer reasons to leave the house every day. I wouldn’t have been forced to interact with anyone beyond the grocer or the fruit vendor. I wouldn’t have read dozens of children’s books in a foreign language (and been enticed checked out a few extra just for me). I wouldn’t have gone to the park or the library or up to complete strangers to pet their dog. I wouldn’t have had a large majority of the interactions that have helped me understand and learn to speak a new language.
Ada has placed me in situations where I have had to circumlocute my way out on almost a daily basis.
But Ada has also given me a strong sense of purpose while we've been here. She has filled my days rather than letting me fall into that very real and very dangerous place of isolation, boredom and depression. I watched several other spouses/partners/couples struggle to fill their time and find something tug them out of bed each morning. I am greeted each morning by a chirpy baby who wants to play and explore.
I’m so grateful she has tugged me along with her.