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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gina, The Wonderful

This essay by a child (he's not a child any longer, Jamie is now going on 14) I was a former nanny to. It got me really choked up and I had to ask for his permission before I posted it. He said "yes" and so here it is. I personally cringed when I read "Italian lover".

Gina, the wonderful

Gina was my babysitter from ages 3- 11. She took over for my old babysitter Dagne who moved to Oregon (but later moved back to Seattle and who was best friends with Gina….) Gina was the perfect babysitter. Normally taking care of the four of us; my sister and me and our friends Danny and Rachel, she did what most people could not, control us. Sophie (my sister) and Rachel were usually well behaved, but Danny and I were all over the place. Most of the time, we had to walk on either side of Gina holding her hand so that we wouldn’t laugh, talk or in any other way cause mischief. For the first couple months we took to calling Gina, Doc-Gina. Since we were used to saying Dagne, when Gina was around we got confused (you should have heard us when they were both around). Doc-Gina mastered the art of mass cleaning/taking care of kids. There were the one minute baths, perfect dinners, homework time; in which Gina would go around the various homework places helping people study (with Danny and I usually in separate rooms.) Gina was a blessing to our family. With Gina around, everyone excelled in school and, because Gina would have it no other way, had well rounded lives. When you wanted to throw a baseball around with Gina she was available. It wasn’t the type of thing where she only half tried to catch the ball; Gina, being very competitive, always gave you her best. That was the thing I liked most about Gina, she gave me a challenge, yet someone to go back to. She was that soft pillow in your bed, it was challenging to situate, but once you had the pillow situated, it’s perfect.

It all started when Gina started dating Demetrio, her Italian lover. We all thought he was stuck up and mean to kids, but somehow Gina saw a different side to him. We all felt betrayed because Gina was spending more time with him than us. They had been dating for about a year when they took a surprise trip to Las Vegas. We all thought this was alright, and we didn’t think that anything would happen. Then Gina did the most un-Gina like thing ever: Gina who was organized and had to have everything planned, Gina who hated spontaneity, got married. They got married at a drive through chapel in Las Vegas. They sent us pictures and we were all shocked. At first we thought they were kidding, like an April Fools Day joke, but then we realized that they were serious. We all felt as though we lost our friend, she was no longer ours, she was his now. We had to live with the new Gina. She was a bit happier, but she was less excited about work. It was as if she had lost all interest in us, the kids, we were just another brick in the wall.

We had finally accepted Gina and Demetrio when the big hit came, they were moving to Italy. “They’re moving…to Italy?” I questioned meekly when my mom told me. A bitter taste came to my mouth and lump in my throat. I couldn’t believe what my ears were telling me. When Gina told us the next day it only worsened, I knew that I would have to live with it, but not now, I couldn’t take it now. Over time I accepted it, and she has been in Italy for about 2 years now and is about to have her first baby. There is still a hole where Gina should be in my life, but my childhood Gina is gone.

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At 6:27 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Awwww, what a wonderful tribute! And a lucky kid--how sweet that he has such great memories of your time together. I had to smile when he referred to Deme as your Italian lover. That's so funny in a 14-year-old's words and I bet it raised his teacher's eyebrows. From the things you've written about your time as a nanny, and from this essay it's pretty obvious you're going to be a great mom. I just wish you could be my babysitter and make me a perfect dinner every night.

At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the young man. You should be very proud of the positive influence that you had on his life. One of the most heart warming things that I have read in quite some time.

Hug the little darling for me.


At 6:25 AM, Blogger eastcoastlife said...

oooo, so sweet! You will be a great Mom. Best wishes.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Thanks for sharing this...I have to say that the part about the "un-Gina-like" wedding in Vegas was my favorite.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVED this! Every last little word.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Vinnette said...

Gina, your lucky to have someone tell you that not only do they love you but how much you meant to them in their life. Especially, a 14 year old boy. I've know Jamie since he was a baby, and even thinking of him as a young man is just amazing. You should be proud. And, I do believe that you will be a wonderful mother!!!!

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous paz said...

Very nice.


At 9:46 PM, Anonymous deborah said...

How did this letter make you feel?

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

I love all the kids I took care of in Seattle and Jamie has not been so great in keeping in touch. I thought he forgot about me or just did not have the time in his new teenage schedule. To have him write this essay really melted my heart. I shared my whole self with these kids, my past, my childhood and all my good and bed experiences with life. I was pleasantly surprised that he had been thinking about me and so glad he remembered positive things. Baseball and super competitive board games were our thing.

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...







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