Our day out on Uncle Gepetto’s boat went well. Really well. The Things were impeccably behaved and Thing 2 turned out to be absolutely fine about being on a sailing boat. In fact, he was so brave that he even swam in the deep, jellyfish infested waters (we saw approximately 70 of the stingers!). Funnily enough, even though I thought the kids were really well behaved, Uncle Gepetto, a hardened bachelor, told me that The Things were “impegnativi” (‘Full On, Hard work, Demanding’) and was openly relieved at the end of the day, to have them off his boat. I was stunned and a bit offended when he said in his strong Milanese accent
“weeah comunque Fanny… I tuoi son impegnativi … Cazzo… Da non credere…. Ma come fai? Cazzo…. Ho avuto tre nipoti qui per una settimana ma cazzo, sono piu lavoro I tuoi. Weh… Cazzo…” The Things had been so calm and well behaved. There’s not a lot for children that age to do on a boat all day (except roast under the sun) and Things 1 and 2 had endured the day well. They had allowed all the grown ups to do their thing and had been of minimal maintenance. In my humble opinion, they hadn’t been any bother at all; The Husband agreed. So, as i pondered Uncle Gepetto’s words on the drive home, both Things utterly destroyed and fast asleep in the back of the car, i had an epiphany: it’s all relative. It’s ALL extremely relative.
Those with kids think The Things are angelic; those without…
And then there are those that forget: the grandparents, for example. Are these words familiar to any of you?
“… Oh you were so good. You’d just sit there and draw for hours while I did the housework, painted my toenails and read a book. So easy. Soooo easy”
Well… What can I say? I can say this: I look at my boys and I compare them with what’s out there and I’m happy. I’m more than happy, I’m proud. They are not perfect and i could write a long list of things I’d like to see them change, but no one’s perfect, not even the Uncle Geppeto’s of this world.
Folks! It’s easy to criticise and to judge harshly but, as Atticus Finch said,“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Be gentle with your words and remember, it’s often better to keep your opinions to yourself because really, truth be told, you don’t have a clue.
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