Growing up Italian
Being old fashioned and from New Jersey, I have to say, we are really a unique breed!
I’ve had the pleasure lately to travel to some beautiful cities across the country, and I’m learning how different we really are. It’s one thing to be Italian, but combine that with old fashioned and living in New Jersey and it becomes a whole different story.
Like many old fashioned households, we were brought up having huge family gatherings. Traditionally the moms did everything and the girls of the house pretty much followed the same tradition. Well, at least in most of the families that I knew.
Here’s an example. When I was getting my driver’s license, my mother was also. Can you believe my mother raised five children without a driver’s license? Luckily my brothers were quite a few years older than Rosie and I, so we had them to take us where we needed to go. Since my father left the house so early in the morning, by the time he got home it was late and he was way too tired to do anything… but I do remember the time he took me out for driving lessons. We went one full block from my house and he told me to stop the car and put it in “park”-- he made me get out of the car and go in the passenger seat… and told me we were going home. I guess that driving lesson was OVER! Ha!I promised myself that I would be better when it came to my own kids. I loved my father to pieces, but patience really wasn’t his thing. All I can say is too bad my mom didn’t have her license yet, because she would have been the best teacher.
I knew that one day as a mother I wanted to be the opposite of that. Patience is truly a virtue and with kids, certainly with Victoria and Joseph, this is what I learned is the ultimate solution to everything. Now poor Joseph, he unfortunately got stuck with an annoying backseat driver.
Speaking of which, it must be a HUGE shock for all of you to see how much Joseph has grown -- my youngest is not a baby anymore! He has really given me a run for my money this season… Wait till you see him in action!!!Another thing about growing up, as old fashioned as my father was, he REALLY wanted me to go to college. I unfortunately made the mistake of getting a job at 13 and got used to the working life. I wanted to go straight into the work force; I was a hairdresser and I loved it. I will NEVER say I regret the life I chose or the path that I decided to take but I will say I wish I had listened to my dad and gone to college while I was working, just for the experience.
When we were in the process of visiting college campuses for Victoria last season, I actually had a change of heart for her and tried to encourage her to go away to school. It all happened when we went to visit The University of Maryland; something just clicked and I really wanted my daughter to experience living further away. Despite that, it didn't work out...but I know we all made the right choice, and most importantly Victoria made the right choice for now. I believe all the pieces eventually come together the way they were meant to be, and Richie and I are so glad that Victoria chose Caldwell College. I guess the moral of that story is to not push so much in any one direction, because things have a way of working out.
Which brings me to Victoria. Growing up is never easy, but you know what I have realized? I am learning that at some point it becomes harder for the parents than it is for the children when your kids are growing up and taking life as it comes. Victoria is now in college and after watching Sunday’s episode, it’s pretty obvious that Rich and I should go back to school more often. We need to get an “edumacation” on what campus life is really like and how kids act. Around each other and other adults. It seems like Victoria has it all under control. That’s Victoria for you -- she even shocks me!
I wouldn’t mind sending Rich to charm school after this episode. Sometimes I wonder what he is thinking, or if he is even thinking at all when he opens his mouth? Really, Rich? Do you even realize the s--- that comes out of your mouth? Believe me, I have shaken my head more than you could imagine in twenty years of marriage. I am surprised I don’t have a concussion!But you know what? This is Rich. I love him for everything he is. The good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s what REAL couples do. Nevertheless, the Manzo boys and Greg don’t call me “Saint Kathy” for nothing!
Anyway, this is my crazy family and I am proud of them. I love them with all my heart, and I wouldn’t have them any other way.
See you next week! Wishing you all an amazing week ahead!
Oh, and Happy Pride Day LA! Looking forward to a world where every day is Pride Day and equality is here forever!
LOTS OF LOVE!