Dear Blog Readers – I didn’t realize that anyone would actually read all the way to the end of my post “Teenagers: Will I Survive?”, but apparently some of you did because I have received personal emails asking me if I actually was foolish enough to go out Saturday night (last night), leaving my home to my teenage son to have 30 of his friends over for dinner without locking up the the liquor cabinet and agreeing not to appear before 1am. Well I did.
The result reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite children’s books, “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss.
Here’s the opening bit:
The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house All that cold, cold, wet day.
I sat there with Sally, we sat there we two. And I said, “How I wish we had something to do!”
Too wet to go out and too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all. So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! And we did not like it. Not one little bit.
And then something went BUMP! How that bump made us jump! We looked! Then we saw him step in on the mat! We looked! And we saw him! The Cat in the Hat!
And he said to us, “Why do you sit there like that?” “I know it is wet And the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny!” “I know some good games we could play,” Said the cat.
“I know some new tricks,” Said the Cat in the Hat. “A lot of good tricks. I will show them to you. Your mother Will not mind at all if I do.”
Yesterday afternoon I prepared a big tomato sauce, bought several kilos of spaghetti and a couple kilos of pizzette (mini-pizzas), and promptly at 8pm, left my anxious son (Mom, When are you going to leave? When are you going to leave?) alone in the house leaving my daughters with my generous neighbor Lucilla.
Gustavo and I took a leap of faith, put our cell phones on silent and went to see a movie (the movie was “Marigold Hotel” – wonderful movie, I would recommend it to anyone—it gave me some post ideas on the Indian Mamma or Mamaji)
After the movie, we went out to dinner and then at 12:30 Gustavo sent a half-hour warning message. At 12:55 we came around the street behind our house and saw a small group of Nico’s friends leaving. They looked happy and calm. We came around in front of our building and as we walked up toward the gate we saw another small group that had come out the front door. They looked complete calm – not drunk, not drugged out– perfectly normal. They greeted us cheerfully and we headed cautiously upstairs.
Nico was sitting in the living room watching a news program on TV. The house was spotless, absolutely spic and span. They had even taken out the trash. Unbelievable.
I felt like the mother in “The Cat in the Hat”
“Have no fear of this mess,” Said the Cat in the Hat. “I always pick up all my playthings And so… I will show you another good trick that I know!” Then we saw him pick up all the things that were down. He picked up the cake, And the rake, And the gown, And the milk, and the strings, And the books, and the dish, And the fan, and the cup, And the ship, and the fish. And he put them away. Then he said, “That is that.” And then he was gone, with the tip of his hat
“Then our mother came in And said said to us two, “Did you have any fun? Tell me. What did you do?” And Sally and I did not know What to say. Should we tell her The things that went on there that day? She we tell her about it? Now, what SHOULD we do? Well… what would YOU do If you mother asked YOU?”
Well Nico clearly did not want to reveal any details to me and seemed actually too somber for someone who had just pulled off a dinner party with 30 guests. I asked him “what’s wrong?” and he answered “I am just tired, it is hard to be the host of the party. You have to worry about everything”
Ok, I admit it. My daughter discovered an empty bottle of limoncello liqueur under her bed, there were a couple cigarette butts in my potted plants on the balcony, and a new stain on the already multi-stained couch. I think I can let that small stuff slide. Overall I would say I am one lucky Mamma.
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.