201. Tonight was a happy night! The kids were ecstatic beyond belief that tonight was going to be their favorite Fameja Veneta dinner/dance- the annual one down in San Pedro! They love having the view of ships in the main channel adding to the atmosphere of this event. Natalie in particular was very eager to dance. It made my mama heart a bit sad when I realized that Jacob is just on the cusp of entering the stage of thinking he’s a bit too cool or embarrassed by dancing in the middle of the dance floor. Every year up until now he’s run out there, put his arm around Natalie and danced his heart out. Tonight he was hesitant and tried to get out of it as much as he could. Natalie beggggggged him to pleaaaaaase, pretty please, please dance with her. She got two songs worth. She would have hoped for much more than that. I’m afraid sweet Natalie this may have been the last dinner/dance where your brother was willing to get out on the dance floor and wrap his arm around your waist and hold up your other hand and lead you in a dance. I have one blurry picture- but that’s okay, it’ll help me/us remember tonight forever and ever.
202. Calamari. I love it. And I love how the kids love it. Natalie even went back for seconds! Although none of us will brave eating the tentacles. Just the round pieces. 🙂
203. I was able to dance with my dad. Just last month he turned 85 and he’s still out on the dance floor. We danced a waltz together. Precious memories of when I was a kid and he used to lead me around the dance floor and I felt so special. It was hilarious though because as we were dancing, Natalie all of a sudden appeared out of nowhere, scrunched up her face…..put one resolute hand on her hip….stretched out the other arm straight with a swinging pointer finger was motioning as if to say “hey hey hey”……couldn’t tell if she too wanted to dance with Dide or if this was just her cute way of saying she thought it was fun watching Mama and Dide dance together. I can’t remember the last time I danced with Dide in the past few years. It was a special moment. I was very thankful for this moment.
204. Jacob now more fully understands and embraces the idea that he is made up of a rich background of cultural heritage. How awesome that in the past year of learning about his family tree and playing Ticket to Ride Europe, he has really started to deeply understand that his roots come from faraway places. Just this past week while playing this new train game, he was trying to pronounce Venezia, I helped him and then explained to him that these dinner dances are part of “La Famiglia Veneta”. That they are all people gathered together here in Los Angeles who were originally from the Veneto region- around Venezia. His eyes grew bigger and something clicked in astonishment in his mind. It was a beautiful moment. He was so happy to take this picture with Dide tonight.
205. I love these kiddos!!! I love it that they get so excited about being with each other, taking pictures with each other, getting dressed up and going out to events together, together watching tugboats pull big ships into port……they are best buddies…..and I’m a mama gushing with love for them.
206. Nerina……she’s 92! Still coming to these Italian events. She has a special place in Jacob’s heart because she made one of his favorite blankets. Here she is posing with him in a purple dress she knit together for herself nearly 45 years ago! Love this woman! So smiley, so full of life, still going strong.