My husband is English, while I’m Italian. Our cultures are similar, but somewhat different. As a consequence, our families are very different and this has become more apparent since having the twins.
When we announced that I was pregnant, for example, we received a happy, although composed, congratulation from one family, while a scream and lots of tears from the other. No need to tell you which one was the reaction from the Mediterranean family, right? Since then, many things about the different approaches to family life became apparent between our two cultures, but what really amused me was the reaction we got the other night when we called to share another big news: B can walk!
I always knew that a baby’s first step is considered an extremely important milestone, but only now I fully understand why. It was a brilliant moment to see little B’s proud face when he let go of daddy’s hands to come trembling towards me. We were so pleased to be all there to take part in this enormous event. So important that my husband had the brilliant idea to call our families on Skype to let them be part of this special moment.
After sorting the dilemma “which family to call first”, we got my sister on the phone and asked her and my mother to go on Skype. Her immediate reaction was “we are having dinner!”, but as soon as I told her the reason why it was so urgent for them to be on Skype, they raced to the laptop holding their pizzas. They spent the rest of their dinner cheering on B in his numerous attempts to walk (or at least complete 3 steps in a row, if you call that walking).
We also tried to call my husband’s parents, but their reply was simple and clear: “we have just started to eat, we will call you back in 15 minutes”. No argument about the fact that the kids could be in bed in 15 minutes or that B could be too tired to perform, made them change their mind. They did called us back 15 minutes later.
If you used a stereotype, you may have thought that the Italian family would have never interrupted a meal for a video call and… you would have been right! They actually carried on eating whilst on Skype!