One thing I've learned from the asilo experience is that Italian parents show up. Every single time that there is a "thing" -- a meeting, a play, an invitation to spend the morning together, or a lunch date, both parents arrive (usually late) to participate. It is not uncommon for both parents to attend birthday parties as well. Maybe American parents of preschoolers are the same; I can assure you that American parents of teens are not! Maybe these 12 working parents are different, but they show up for everything. (We do, too, but somehow I think you knew that.)
Another thing I've learned about the asilo experience is that when we are invited to the school during school hours, no matter the occasion, art is certain to be included. I've also learned that I am not to merely watch the children but to participate with the children, or in some cases, to outshine the other parents with my artistic talents.
On this recent gathering, which began at 10 am on a Wednesday, we created Un Mondo Ideale, with each family randomly assigned a part of the world. Our family made the house. Judging from Marzia's (the teacher) wacky recycling outfit, I think it's related to the recent study of recycling and the environment. (I don't always know exactly. Sad, but true.) The girl has recently scolded me for letting the water run while brushing my teeth and has suggested that she begin taking showers to save on water.
We ended the day with the recitation of a poem dedicated to the seven fathers, and, of course, some pizza and fruit. Can't forget the fruit. (Seriously though, the fruit is a great habit that we've learned.)
I'll miss this group next year. Only one boy will be attending the same school as the Young One.