(FAO-UN. And in the right hand corner, the smallest building, in a tiny part of the bottom level, is Arleigh’s asilo nido (day care.)
I’ve just been a tagalong on this trip. The reason I came is to offer a bit of support while they get settled in and today, with Arleigh’s first full day of officially going and coming with mommy, it’s time for me to fly Home Home. At daycare she’s been working up to an hour longer each day and today is her first full day. Yesterday she made a new friend, “Tia” – or maybe it’s “Pia”- who comes from Paris but speaks English and has a parent also working across the street at FAO/UN. Apparently they hit it off, no doubt because Arleigh can understand her. (Still, Arleigh is clearly picking up far more Italian than I have and she jibbers away in it all the way home from daycare on the bus. She definitely knows “Come ti chiami?” because she answered the corner shopkeeper yesterday.)
(The view from the bus.)
This trip to Rome is about Abby, and the business of her work related to the world’s fisheries. She doesn’t like me to call attention to her, she never has. She’s a fairly private woman and while I try to respect that I can be known to trespass boundaries out of pride or vicarious pleasure or just plain parental enthusiasm. She did allow as how she would love to show me her office but a) it requires security clearance and b) it’s in a literal warren of offices that even she has trouble navigating. The building itself is huge, massive and sits cheek to jowl with the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. How odd to go to work everyday with such juxtaposed architecture!
Apparently the Pope has security clearance; he’s been in that building to talk about world hunger and uniting global efforts to fight it. I would have liked to see the Pope but that didn’t happen this trip. I did go see one of his chairs today. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is an astonishing place; it’s actually the mother church of the Catholic faith. The popes only moved over to St Peter’s a few centuries ago. (my friend Ken refers to all of this as OS; think a moment and you can figure that out. Rome is one giant mass of OS.) After about an hour in there I felt as though I had had sufficient brush with religious art and I was ready to move on. The big move tomorrow is going to be much harder. I miss this little one even when she is at school for a half day or taking a nap…Also, being here with her has made me even more painfully aware of something I think about often: I miss that Sebi boy so so much. I hate that I can’t see him more often and that there is such a physical distance. I’ll plan a trip north within the month.
It makes me feel good that Abby says it would be nice if I could stay and that she is sad that I’m going. We’re all going to be sad tomorrow morning but Grandpa Reech and Wiyow and Sophie call, as does my own need to refocus on felting and dyeing and teaching.