Monday, July 04, 2005

Madrina goes to work

In Italian, Madrina, means Godmother... as opposed to GodFather! It is a thought provoking job to be someone's Godmother. I am supposed to help Rhianna in her spiritual development. Well, we started today at St. Peter's Basilica. We were able to get right through the line. Italians love babies... everyone made sure I stayed in the shade. I was not even scanned with the hand wand and did not have my bag checked. Instead the guard was saying "Ciao, Bella" to the baby! Which means "hello, beautiful!" Sometimes they call her "bambolo" which is 'doll'. Even on the metro to get there an older gentleman gave up his seat for me. And then sat down next to me once that seat opened up. I asked him where the Basilica was (it was too hard to reach my map in my bag and hang to the baby!) So, Erin taught me a few key phrases and I am speaking minimal Italian... "Doveh, Basilica?" He told me that he was getting off a stop before and that if I went one stop too far it would take me to the Museum. I thanked him and he went back to playing with the baby. With Italians you must include your thumb when counting. He asked me how old she was and I showed him with my fingers... I only know numbers in English, Spanish and Russian! I did not use my thumb but my index finger for the sixth digit so I thought he would get that she was 6 months old. Nope, he assumed the thumb and said " 7 months!" I had to do it again using the thumb for the sixth digit and he got it! So remember in Italy they start with the THUMB!!!! If you put up your index finger to ask for one of something you may get two!!!!

At the Basilica I got a photo of John Paul II's crypt, the chest that holds Peter's bones and the famous statue of Peter that many pilgrims kiss or rub the toe of. The art work in there is incredible and I took pictures of whatever Rhianna decided I could take a picture of. If she needed my attention she took priority.

Babies make you slow down.

Babies make you remember you will be here for 15 more days and can come back if you want too.

Babies make you stop and look.

Babies make you stop and think.

Rhianna needed a bottle and there was no place nearby me to sit. So, I sat on the floor in front of a statue of somebody. And I made a bottle and fed her. Quickly a crowd of people drew near who also wanted a rest. We made it about half way through her bottle before a security gaurd came over and made everyone else leave! I sat there and contemplated the art. I thought about the stories the paintings told and not just about what to photograph. I thought about my family and how badly they need to come here and see for themselves what I am feebly putting into words.

Rhianna fell asleep long enough for me to go into a prayer room. I went in and prayed and meditated. I meditated on 'how I got here'. I got here because I said 'yes' to God. I said 'yes' when I was 10 years old and I heard the gospel story. I said 'yes' when I heard God tell me that Tom would make a good husband someday. I said 'yes' when Tom said he believed God was calling us to Russia. And I said 'yes' when I felt God saying Erin needed my help so she could feel safe leaving her firstborn child while she works.

Try saying 'yes' to God and see where it leads you!

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