Caterina’s dark brown hair is long and wavy, her face oval, her skin fine as bone china and her eyes, violet-blue. Her personality lights up a room when she enters it as does her contagious smile. A vivacious almost-twelve year old, she generously distributes hugs and kisses to those she loves. I’m one of those lucky people. I’m her grandmother.
My Lebanese husband, Michel, and I share the month of August each year with Caterina who comes from Rome, Italy with her parents and our other two grandchildren, Ceiba, six, and her brother Mishka, age two, who arrive from Oaxaca, Mexico with their parents. The arrival of seven extra people turns our normally peaceful abode into a boisterous one, full of merriment and chaos. Regardless of day-time activities, we gather at dinner time to share good food and great wines. We converse in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Italian, sometimes all at once, reflecting the international flavor of our family.
As our days together turned into weeks, I began to notice Ceiba coming to us with more hugs and kisses and “I love you’s. While Mishka isn’t totally verbal yet, he joined in, blowing kisses and offering his cheek to a caress and a hug. After everyone returned to their respective homes I had a conversation with Caterina. I complemented her on teaching a lesson in affection to her cousins. Her response startled me. “Nonna,” (my name in Italian) I did that on purpose. I wanted Ceiba and Mishka to show you as much love and affection as I give to you and Nonno (grandfather).”
The power of love–given, returned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s