I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy today. Super Man's older sister, her three grown sons and my mother- and father-in-law are currently in Italy. My sister-in-law has been on Facebook posting pictures and status updates daily, and just seeing the beautiful pictures and reading her joyful updates warms my heart.
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but in case I haven't, Super Man's family is 100% Italian. My father-in-law was born in the U.S. (his father was born in Italy), and he had never been to Italy. My mother-in-law was born in Italy, but her family moved to the U.S. when she was two or three years old, and she had never been back -- until now, 75 years later.
My father-in-law is one of the most laid back and easy-going people I know (Super Man gets it from him), but he does NOT like to travel, especially by plane. My mother-in-law has a far more adventurous spirit in that regard and has always wanted to return to Italy to visit the family members that stayed behind, but she had some unpleasant matters to deal with early on in the past decade and then has been plagued with some moderate health issues for the past few years, so travel wasn't high on her agenda.
But then my sister-in-law -- who has wanted to take a family trip to Italy forever -- finally convinced my mother- and father-in-law to go with her and her sons this year. When I heard the news, I couldn't believe that my father-in-law had actually agreed to go, but I was so excited that he had. I knew that my mother-in-law was thrilled, but I also knew she would be concerned about how she'd do physically, between the long travel days on cramped airplanes and then all the walking and traveling they'd do during their 10 days in Italy. Still, she refused to let it hold her back, and from the sounds of it, she's having the time of her life back in her home country.
The pictures have been beautiful - the weather is gorgeous (although hot), the sites they've seen have been amazing, and best of all was seeing the town where my mother-in-law was born, the church where she was baptized, and the tombstone of her maternal grandmother. I can just picture how happy she is there, among her Italian cousins, seeing the place her parents lived before moving stateside. And I've been relieved to hear that she's held up physically despite the long days of walking and sight-seeing.
I only wish we could be there with them! We thought about going with them, but it just wasn't going to work financially this year. Plus, with Super Boy being only 7, it might've been too much for him with the long flights and all the walking.
Still, though. The thought of Super Boy and Super Girl being able to experience Italy for the first time with their Italian grandparents is incredibly compelling. And while my in-laws are still active and in relatively good health, they're in their late 70s and this could very well be one of the last opportunities - if not the last opportunity - for them to take a trip of this magnitude. We just have to hope that maybe in another year or two the stars will all align again for them to make the trip and we can go with next time.
In the meantime, I pray that the rest of their trip goes as smoothly and wonderfully as the past three days have. I just love the idea of them in ITALY!