Residence

     It took 29 documents, 9 people’s cooperation, and 6 hours over the course of 3 days of my being at City Hall, to obtain residency in Frascati. Residency is necessary to have access to everything from doctors to trash collection to. . . you guessed it, soccer teams. Sebastian and Jacob’s registration on their respective soccer teams was contingent upon getting this document from the city.
    Each morning for three days, I hauled myself down to the city center clutching a packet of vital documentation including passports and the equivalent of social security numbers and walked into the 150-year-old building that used to be a city library, replete with marble columns. I got snapped at, rebuked, ignored, helped, and even made a friend out of one of the women who works there–the typical gamut of Italian social interaction. One person had warned us: Italians punch you first, and then decide to be nice. That’s pretty much right as far as I can tell. I got punched a bit. But after a month of preparations and then three days of pushing at the counter and explaining over and over what our situation is, they finally printed the little thing out.
     Tears actually came to my eyes.
     Residents? It had not even occurred to me what that meant. I had been on a mother’s mission of love to get that paperwork so my boys could play sports. But it sunk in all in an instant: we are residents in Frascati, Italy, the province of Rome. We are residents of a city that boomed in the 17th century, is endowed with outstanding art and architecture, and is perhaps the finest city in which Romans escape for weekends, holidays and fabulous dinners and sunsets on Friday nights. This is now our town. A town who’s soccer teams are feeder teams for AS Roma professional soccer. This really blows “soccer mom” right out of the water!
    Driving home, the grass looked greener, the trees stood taller, the town’s central mansion estate loomed more beautifully over the horizon. I let my heart say “Yes, I love it. This is my town for now, and I am going to love this season of my life.”