Thursday, February 13, 2014

David's Rainbow

I would be lying if I said travelling with children is all fun and games. There is no doubt that it is exciting, fun and allows you to see the world from their perspective. It certainly is easy to make it all look like a "cake-walk' or an easy going stroll from one gelato store to the next, stopping at parks and window shopping along the way. It is true, we have done much of that, but there are also many challenging moments that are not quite so 'quaint'. Like on our 10th day of rain in a row, and everyone is soggy and tired of being wet, nothing dries, we have been in a state of perpetual dampness since we arrived it seems. Everyone has colds, coughs, and now the kids have Pink Eye - inevitable really.
On this 10th day of rain, we are trying to simply get home from school, the task is momentous as both children insist on walking. If only I was an Indian Goddess with 6 arms I could push the stroller, hold the umbrella, carry the groceries and hold each child's hand as we navigate the narrow sidewalks that are not wide enough for two people with umbrellas to pass without one stepping out onto the road into on-coming traffic.
After much stress and shouting after children (who by the way also refuse to put on mitts or wear a hood), as  elderly ladies walking by scowl at the foreign lady who lets her sick improperly dressed child run wild down the sidewalk, we huddle in a doorway. My youngest has decided that she is tired, thank god! I can now tie her on my back and fight with my other one to get into the stroller and hold the groceries while I bee line it to the bus stop. Of course the buses are over-crowded, who wants to walk when it's pouring rain?
Now bumping and squashed on the bus the youngest insists on getting out of the back carrier, my eldest wants to stand on the bus like a 'big person' instead of taking the seat offered. With one child being lurched across the bus and the other screaming bloody murder to get off my back, the stroller threatening to roll off the bus I lose my grip on the grocery bag. So much for the fresh tomatoes I bought which are now more like fresh tomato sauce. By this time the youngest has succeeded in getting down and is on screaming fit number three since we left school. Like her big brother she wants to 'stand' on the bus. Impossible. She would be sent head over heals as the lurching bus ricochets it's way down 600 year old stone streets. With one hand holding the squished groceries, my leg pinning the stroller down my other hand hangs on in a vice grip to the rain coat of my beautiful, screaming, flailing daughter. And with every ounce of reserve energy I concentrate on staying calm - and on the bottle of wine in my purse that I pray doesn't break in the midst of the chaos. It would be impossible to clean out of the leather.....and God knows I'm going to need a glass of it when we get home.
Like all things there is an end. This trying evening ended with a rainbow and smiles. Eventually the children settle (from exhaustion), the rain abates and as we reach the bus stop at the top of the hill, the one with the view over the city the bus pulls up and stops and what do we see? A glimmering bronze reproduction of The David looking out over a giant rainbow. Everyone smiles, the bus driver pauses longer so everyone can click a photo from the door.
My daughter agrees to climb back into the back carrier and promptly falls asleep. My son informs me he has had a good day, he liked the rainbow and "would I like to play Ninjas when we get home?"
We do get home, tired, wet but blissfully home. There were some ninjas, some good pasta and some very good red wine.
 David and the rainbow

My beautiful daughter when things are all smiles!

The city when it is not raining! And the bus on the bridge is the one we ride to get home.

One of many many gelato stores


How to chose?

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