There is a chill to the air now, especially at night and in the morning. Three goes back to school tomorrow, Seven starts up again next week. And so it begins again, summer over and all the excitement of a new school year.

This was a strange and wonderful summer. Our time in the US went by quickly, and when it was time to go, there was a whirlwind of activity, the packing of bags in a few short hours, my parents preparing to finalize the sale of their house and move out in the two days that followed, and poor Three, who was a little bewildered by it all. It wasn’t until we were in the car on the way to the airport that I realized I would probably never see that house again, or the woods behind it, or the big, beautiful oak tree by our favorite farm stand.

I’d never lived there, and over thirteen or fourteen years, a handful of Christmases and two summers hardly make a place feel like it’s yours. But it had been a fine place to run to when I couldn’t stand up on my own.

When my parents were packing, they found a little box of old letters and report cards and other odds and ends, a box of memories, that belonged to me. I brought it back to Italy with me, which of course felt like the very last step in making this my home.

Fall is a good time of year to feel yourself at home, to sink your roots a little deeper in the soil, to hunker down in anticipation of that first winter chill. The box is still sitting out until I find a place for it, and eventually I will. In the meantime, it’s kind of nice to have it out and be able to quickly rifle through and look at my fourth grade report card, the birthday card my great-grandma gave me when I turned four. I wonder what what my boys will keep in boxes like that, and if most of their mementos will be in Italian. They probably will.


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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3 Responses to keepsake

  1. meredith says:

    Welcome back home 🙂
    I have a box started for each of my girls. So far, what I’ve put in there has been French school memories. I wonder too, if they will keep any American treasures. Time will tell. But time has had a way of making me worry less about how American or not they will be.

    • Jennifer says:

      That is a good idea to start a box for them. I hadn’t thought of that, assuming that they would do it on their own, but maybe not. And making a little treasure chest might be something fun to do together on a rainy fall day.
      Lately I have been very curious about how my life choices affect their childhood, which is probably why I wonder about the language. I wonder how much of an impact our summers in the US will have on their childhood overall. Although they definitely self-identify as Italian – they were born here after all!

  2. Aunt Patti says:

    Reading your post made me regret that we only made it out there once. Oh well, I’m sure new adventures await us in your parents’ new home! Your boys are so fortunate to have both Italian and American cultural experiences. I’m sure they’ll be very thankful someday!

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