“Mum, I Am Going To Buy Ice-Cream” (Roots will ground me forever)

I am almost 50 years old, and I couldn’t care less about getting old. On the contrary, I am looking forward to it.  Kenya, which I visited last week, was my 66th country of visit and according to one of these dumb apps – assuming there is enough data to prove it – I am in the 1% of the most travelled humans in the world. Bragging about how much I travelled, however, is not why I am writing this.

I am currently in my hometown with 50% of the kids and the other half joining soon. I hardly see them anyway because teenagers are ultra-busy with their own life.  Their Italian grandparents (my parents) are still around and kicking. In other words, they still handle most of the logistics, food, accommodation, and so on. Soon, when my sister comes home, the spaces get much tighter, bathrooms way busier, and that’s when yours truly gets his own space in order not to lose his mind.

“Mum, I am going to buy ice-cream.” That’s what I said yesterday. Of course, it was not to ask for permission but out of respect for my mum who was watching my daughter 60 minutes every hour (trying hard at least). In any case, a friend of mine heard that statement, brought my attention to it, and we had a good laugh.

But that episode got me thinking.

I travelled across 10 different cities in two continents in the last month (It is more if you count the stopovers). But when I am in my hometown, I still tell my mum I am going to buy ice-cream.

I am extremely grateful, to start with for still having parents to warn about me getting ice cream, which at my age is far from being obvious. Then, I am also grateful to still have this place I come back to that grounds me so much, and probably helps the rest of my hectic life to go on because I don’t feel unbalanced at all.

You don’t get to pick the family you were raised in, nor who your parents are. However, you can start your legacy and family strength now. If you have kids or family you can relate to, or one you are starting right now, think of it as an opportunity to build a cradle for the generations to come.

I wish that one day, all of you would also have a 49 year-old son telling you “I am going to buy ice cream.”

Matteo.

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