Cooks, taxi drivers and babysitters if necessary, playmates, fairy tales and raids, but above all healthy bearers of a priceless heritage made of love and wisdom. If there weren’t the grandparents, they should be invented. There province of Treviso it has a large and worthy representation: an army of over 150 thousand and yesterday was their party.
“Italy is a republic founded on grandparents” Maria Rosa Giabardo hastens to underline with her husband Stefano, just celebrated 36 years of marriage and the beauty of 4 children and five grandchildren. Jeremiah 7 months, Ariadne a year and a half, Mark 3, James 5 and Ludovico 6. “And I don’t think they will be finished.”
A TYPICAL DAY
In the morning, except for seasonal ailments, they are all busy between kindergarten and school. There is time for some errands and to prepare lunch in view of their return but also a tub of sauce and other kinds of comfort ready for the evening, you never know. The house is filled with the scent of ragù, all together for lunch and then off to the afternoon marathon, made up of naps, the table set with sheets and markers, the floor covered with toys, some cartoons, the hands stained with color, the mustache of milk and an exception to the rule with a chocolate snack.
“Watching my grandchildren grow up is a source of wonder,” he adds grandmother Maria Rosa, «I observe them doing and each time they surprise me with their ability to reason, their language, their questions… I see familiar traits but also the unique aspects of their character and the personality that is forming, each one different from the others. To witness all this is a rare privilege ».
There is no better elixir of long life than to become young again, spending the years in the company of grandchildren. And in the meantime it was evening, the time to say goodbye to the grandparents and go home with mum and dad. Suddenly silence falls. “For me it is not an obligation to be a grandmother, I have chosen to follow my children’s children and I do it with joy and energy” says Maria Rosa, “but I am sorry to see that in Italy today giving birth to children is almost madness, a huge bet, because very often the only support for parents is the grandparents. And if they are missing it is a real problem ».
AT RENZO’S HOUSE
The workshop of Renzo Favaretto, 66, and his wife smells of pine wood Emanuela Artuso, 65, as they think about the next toy to build for their one and a half year old grandson Tobias. «He is a child’s love, he loves tractors, we try to pass on the love for nature and take him to see our Treviso countryside a stone’s throw from Ghirada and the swans in Pescheria. Until September the mother worked in smart working with us and we took care of the baby, now she goes to the nursery but she comes to visit us to have an afternoon snack “says Renzo, while reviewing his handmade creations taking advantage of being retired.
The cradle, the Montessori bookcase, a rocking horse, and the dream of passing on the passion of carving to him when Tobia is a little older. “He doesn’t call me grandpa yet, but I can’t wait for him to do it.”
THE TRIP TO THE FARM
Marco Ervas and his wife Anna, 56 and 53, are instead two working grandparents, interpreters of changing times and society. “Our two grandchildren, Giacomo and Geremia are growing visibly, but all around them there is a neighborhood network that together help us mom and dad. In this sense, the time of Covid has helped to strengthen neighborhood ties and this is extremely important for joining forces and resources »says Marco. The house becomes a kind of kindergarten. Games, readings, walks, trips to the Vaka Mora to greet the animals. “Grandpa, are we going back to the farm?”
How do you say no. “Parents are parents, grandparents are grandparents” says Marco “and the latter also have the right to spoil their grandchildren a little”.