Sundays with my family

As the sun peeked through the persiane (shutters) this morning, I knew it was going to be a fabulous day. Sundays are always my favorites. It's the day I get to lounge around in my pajamas and sip my coffee while I write and read all morning long. It's also the day that I get to eat lunch with my suoceri (in-laws).

I received a phone call from my suocero (father-in-law) telling me that he'll be by to pick me up at 12:45 p.m. at the ponte (bridge). Alessandro works until 2:00 p.m., so we three eat lunch together and by the time we're having dessert, Alessandro arrives and eats lunch.

During lunch, we talk about what has happened during the week and I recounted my stories about my visits to the Questura (Police station). "Almeno hai risolto un problema. (At least you resolved a problem.)," his father said after hearing about my getting my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay).

After Alessandro finished up his lunch, we went to the salotto (living room) where we watched the partita (soccer match) with his father and his father's two friends. I love calcio (soccer) and had been waiting impatiently for the Fiorentina to start playing again.

Alessandro's mother stayed in the cucina (kitchen) watching another TV program and cleaning up a little bit.

After the Fiorentina won the partita 2 to 1, Alessandro was getting ready to go back to work. I sat with his mom and she explained all the things she packed in my borsa (bag) for me to take home. Some of the avanzi (leftovers) and also some arance (oranges) and clementini (seedless mandarine oranges). She told me to be careful carrying the bag because she also included two bottles of olio di olive (olive oil): one vecchio (old) and one nuovo (new). The olio di olive is made by my suocero and his brother. It seems that almost everyone I know has their source for getting fresh olio di olive. My previous source was my friend Debora's dad, but as soon as Alessandro and I started seeing each other, I've been getting oil from his dad.

I tend to feel a little guilty leaving every Sunday with so much food. I try to bring them small gifts, like flowers, plants, and sometimes desserts, but each time, they tell me to stop bringing things over. I know they like what I bring, but they insist that it's not necessary. I tell them that they are so generous to me that it is only normal for me to offer a little something, but his mother usually shakes her head and smiles at me.

I had never been in a situation where someone, excluding my own mother, wants to continually give and give to me without anything in return. It is a wonderful gift to have someone else think of me and want the best for me as I usually am the giver in many of my relationships. I have learned to accept that it is truly nice to receive as well.

So, for me, Sunday is not only the day that I get to relax and enjoy myself at home alone, but it's also the day when I get to be with my Italian family and truly feel like an adored child.

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