Caring Like the Italian Mama

Whenever I gather with the Italian Mamas, it’s always been about how much I’m learning and still need to learn. I’m the youngest and newest, and I’m really only half Italian.

But today I hosted a few Italian Mamas for lunch, and this time–and for the first time–I felt like an expert, like a legitimate member. The original Italian Mama, after all, has trained me well, beginning our lessons back in May of 2010 when she took me under her wing. I miss her kitchen. I miss the simmering red sauce and the sound of Bruce Springsteen. She’s moved out of town, but she joins me via FaceTime. If you search my blog, you’ll find the journey of all the love and lessons. I’m so glad I wrote them down.

So today, when the Italian Mamas kept eating my lemon, peas, spinach, and pesto pasta salad, begging me to tell them all about my technique; and when they insisted I teach them how I picked the cheeses alongside my platter of warm bread, basil, and peppers; and when they patiently listened to my instructions on how to soak my dried tomatoes in fresh basil, salt, and olive oil, I knew that now, I had arrived. 

I tried not to gloat as I cleared the table to bring out the fruit, chocolates, and coffee (just like she taught me). I tried not to smile too much as I refilled glasses. I tried to stay humble as I sent everyone out the door with a special gift.

It was a fine Italian Mamas Luncheon indeed.

Now, like a good Italian Mama, I wonder what younger mother might come under my care. Living with flair means you transition from learning to expert, and then you pass on what you know to bless others like the Italian Mama did for me all those years ago. Perhaps, even more than the cooking lessons, I learned the lesson of loving like this.


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