Year one: I am born, a twin, crying softly as I enter the cruel world. As usual for me (a perfectionist) I am born right on time, seven o'clock I believe. My twin, on the other hand, was born forty-eight minutes later, bawling and screaming. My family always jokes that I wanted to come out, while she just wanted to stay in and sleep.
A couple weeks later, my mom brings me to the hospital, where I am diagnosed with Meningitis. (I know there's different types, I'm not sure which one I had). According to my mom, I probably had a really bad headache. I stayed at the hospital, while me mom tried to stay with me for as long as the Italian doctors would let her. In her free time, she pumped milk. I remember she told me once that she pumped milk for so long, had filled up a couple bottles, and then spilled them. She was so tired she just broke down crying.
Finally I, I was cured. Apparently I could have lost hearing, my eyesight, or suffered other things, but I'm totally fine (thank goodness).
Year two: My life in Italy (where we lived at the time) is fairly peaceful. Every day after breakfast, my mom, sister and I would play all day. In the afternoon, we would go to the park and come back home around snack time. Every Sunday, my dad had a day off, and we would all get in the car and drive out to a small country restaurant to have lunch. (O my gosh the food was SO good!)
Year three: I start preschool only equipped with the essential phrases "Hello" (Ciao) "Goodbye" (Ciao-ciao or ciao) "I have to use the bathroom" (Devo usare il bagno.)
Later this year, my mom gives me a drug (o gosh I forget which one it is. It's rather common, I see it in CVS all the time) recommended by our pediatricion when I got sick. Turns out the drug had Ibuprofen in it, and I happen to be allergic to that. I was sent to the hospital again. This time, I had some kind of reaction where my white blood cells started attacking my red blood cells. The doctors told my mother I had "pneumonia". Finally, a doctor walked past me, and noticed how pale I was. He asked my mom if this was normal for me (no) and he did more research, and finally gave my mother an actual diagnosis. I spent three weeks in the hospital, lost a lot of hair, got fairly skinny, but managed to survive.
Year four: I continue preschool, and meet my soon to be best friend. Her name? Arianna. The same as mine, but spelled with two 'n's instead of one. Her sister's name was the same as my twin's name (I won't reveal that for now). All four of us became very close friends, often spending Saturdays and Sundays at each others houses. (I honestly believe she would enjoy this website a lot. She was a sort of writer, too, and a very good one at that.)
Year five: More preschool. I am able to speak Italian pretty well by now. I start wishing for a little sister, having seen that all my friends have little siblings. Lucky for me, late into this year, my mom gets pregnant with a girl. At first I refuse to believe her when she tells me, only succumbing when I feel the baby kick.
Year six: I start first grade. In December, the baby is born, and I get to miss a couple days of school. On the day I come back, I run around the school telling all my friends and all the teachers that I had a little sister. My teacher makes an announcement to the whole class explaining why my sister and I missed a couple days of school while I sit in the back beaming.
Year seven: My mom transfers me to another, better (but still bad) school. This means leaving my friend Arianna behind. We still hang out, but are not able to see each other as much.
I know most of the kids at the new school from preschool, but that doesn't stop me from crying on the first day of second grade.
Year eight: And third grade begins. I think I am so grown up--I even have a boyfriend! There's a hot chocolate machine at school that sells hot chocolate for 50 cents. My parents refuse to give me the money, so my boyfriend buys some for me. My sister gets so jealous that the teacher feels bad and buys her hot chocolate, too.
Anyway, my boyfriend and I are very romantic. We write each other notes, kiss (definitely on the cheek I'm pretty sure on the lips, too?!?!)
Yeah. Long story short, we end up breaking up when he starts being mean to my sister.
Year nine: My mom is so sick of the Italian schools that she decides to teach us her self. So we start home-schooling. It goes well for me, but my sister is difficult. How many talks about responsibility and all that jazz did I have to listen to? Many, many. It was tough, but my mom managed teach two nine year old and take care of a three-year old. We plowed through.
Year ten: I'm not sure when my parents started talking about moving to America (my mom was born in Virginia). I just remember around this time my mom looking at houses in Texas. The plan was to move in with my grand mother (who lived in Virginia) for a couple of months, and then go down to Texas and start our life there. You might have wondered how we felt about it. We were ecstatic. We couldn't wait to move!! My poor friends watching us start the moving process and watching us leave without a care in the world while they thought of how much they would miss us--we were so naive.
Year eleven: The boxes start piling up in our little apartment.
All of a sudden, it's the day we get on our flight to America. We had already said our last goodbyes to many friends. So we hop on a taxi to the airport along with eleven suitcases. The 18 boxes have already been shipped. As I sat next to my mom in the taxi, I watched the familiar scenery fade away and tried to swallow the lump in my throat hold back the tears.
Year twelve: Hard times. My dad still doesn't have a job, we're still living with my grandmother. But light and hope is on the way.
Months later, my family starts our small business selling leather goods from Italy (exactly the same thing my Dad did back in Italy lol)
I start sixth grade at the cheapest private school in the area, where I make friends, start track, and begin appreciating the Catholic faith.
Year thirteen: One year and a toxic friendship later, life seems better. I meet my best friend ever over the summer (Sarah) . I remember strongly disliking her at first. She was this tall, strong, athletic girl with a loud laugh. Slightly scary. But something clicked, and I have never found someone like her anywhere else. She was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.
I start getting better at track, and develop a rivalry with a girl. Oh, shoot I forgot we also got a dog (poodle). Lol I'll have to write more about him, Teddy has such an interesting personality. He's so cute :)
Year fourteen: Eighth grade. The best year of my life. I get to be closer to my best friend, Sarah. In the fall, I FINALLY win the 1600. I cannot express the happiness I felt that day. How I felt when I hugged my coach, when all my friends gathered round and celebrated. I played basketball with Sarah (o gosh she's amazing at basketball. I suck) and we win the championship against Saint Mary, our rivals!!! Another best feeling ever. The summer before, my mom and two sisters and I converted to Catholicism. This year, I kinda felt for the first time I had a purpose in life. I was so happy.
And then halfway through the year, right before spring track, school got shut down because of covid. I dunno, things kinda went down-hill from there.
Year fifteen: Here I am. Fifteen years old. Homeschooling myself. I found WtW in November, and now I get to participate in this beautiful community.
Four years later, we are still living with my grandmother. It's not like we can move to Texas with a store in Virginia. If you asked me today whether or not I missed Italy, I would say no. It's hard to explain to people who have only lived in America what a superior country we live in. Sure, this country has it's problems. You could say we're racist. Have y'all even seen Italy? SO RACIST. Please, guys, America has it's problems. But please be thankful that you get to live here. Cause trust, me you wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Continuing on. Last year, I found meaning in life. And now that's kind of lost I guess. The last time I saw Sarah was on my birthday. (August). She's the one I always write about. People change I guess. And she's not the same person I was friends with before. She's not mean, just not the same.
Whatevs. This was really long, sorry. I'll stop now :)
Guys thank you for reading this. I left out SO MUCH. Like how hard it was to move to Italy because of the complications having to do with my dad. Or all the places we visited while in Italy (Austria, Germany, Frace, Holland, Greece....) And a lot of other things... but maybe for another time? Sorry this was probably confusing.
Oh and my twin sister is literally involved in all of this too. Like she did all the same activities I did, but I kinda left her out lol. sorry :)