Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Back to Normal

There are good days and bad days and it seems that nothing can be done about it. Of course, much can be done in order to spoil a naturally good day, as well as some effort could fix a useless and wasted day into something not that stinky. But, as a matter of fact, all those are efforts to change something which naturally happened to be good or bad. And why did it happen to be so, no one could possibly know.

Take for example yesterday. Three loads of laundry. Infinite amount of baby cloths put in order (a task I was postponing for a month now). Uncountable documents distributed diligently in their fitting folder, as ordered as it could be in the best of all the possible worlds. And today? As for now, the only positive thing I did is that I tried to call an office, for at least five times and nobody was answering. So today is one of those days, nothing done. Of course, I have the babies, so luckily I have the universal excuse... and yet. Today and yesterday are like black and white in my bowl. Not to sound melodramatic, but I sometimes imagine life like a bowl in which I put a white pebble for a good day and a black one for the days which slipped through my fingers as useless as a single sock (excuse the somehow inelegant metaphor, but I have been dealing a lot with dis-paired socks lately).

So far for lamenting my wasted day. It was all a preamble to explain how does it happen that I'm back on my blog. I needed some therapeutic writing. Not to be confused with procrastinating, no-no.

And here are some updates what has been going on in the last few months and weeks. I finally defended my PhD thesis. It just happened so that I was sick for two weeks in advance and on the very day I woke up with 38.9 C of fever. Being concentrated on not fainting, I found it even easier to answer the questions, it shifted the tension from the questions and my actual performance to literally surviving that day. I thought, and I bet many others that day - students, friends, professors from the commission - had thought the same, i.e. that it was a 'defense fever'. And yet, it lasted for almost three more weeks afterwords, leaving me as exhausted as I have rarely been and some kilos less. Those weren't happy weeks, and moreover for more than a week it happened that Michele needed to be in Bari, so I was sick, feverish and alone with the four kids. Luckily, it was the week when I was already recovering thanks to the antibiotics which the physician prescribed me.
Meanwhile the spring had come. I barely noticed how that happened, but one day I was bringing Matteo and Mila to the daycare, all of us covered with heavy jackets, gloves, scarfs and hats, when I suddenly realized that many girls were already in their ballerina shoes, some of them even without socks. So the spring was officially there, and as for today, there is a marvelous sun outside... while I am again bound to the couch because of some tedious back pain. It will be all over soon. I guess.

That is to say, I am enjoying my maternity leave. 'Enjoying' is somewhat merely a figure of speech here, but I am nonetheless very grateful for it. I am being home with the twins, which are growing and becoming funnier every day. It happens sometimes as unnoticed as the coming of the spring. And then I suddenly realize, they are not the babies they used to be any more. Tiny little persons are starting to show out.

And so, day after day, black or white, the days are piling slowly up in the bowl. Life with four young kids can be often overwhelming, but, actually, who cares. Life is overwhelming all the time.

How many grumpy faces do you see on the picture?


  1. Evelina, I can't believe you had a high fever when you defended you dissertation. You looked amazing in the pictures. Wow, you have had quite a time. How did you survive with four kids? I wish I could have come and help you out. I am glad you are doing better and you can enjoy some Spring weather. Is Michele still mostly in Italy?
    I think your description of black and white days is so true. As much as I can't imagine right now having to take care of four kids, I think you are right, life is overwhelming, always, whatever you have to deal with. But, I do admire the fact that you are taking card of four children, finished your dissertation, defended it with a high fever etc., etc. That is quite an achievement.
    I wish we could go for a stroll along the Rhein and get to know each other better. Take care.

    1. Manuela, it's so nice to hear from you! :) I hope you are doing well and that spring is coming also to you already. You've probably heard, but here it's 20C and more, everybody is having ice cream and taking sunbaths on the benches. Magnolias are in full blossom. Next time you come to Cologne, I hope to be able to see you in some more relaxed circumstances. And hope it could be soon.
      Michele, luckily, is in Cologne now, and will stay for the next couple of months.
      I hope to get more regular on the blog ad stay in touch with friends overseas.