Mama’s Boys

rootby Carrie Root

Simone is a mama’s boy. At 39 years of age, he is remarkably handsome. Tall with dark hair, his beautiful eyes and smile take over the rest of his features. Yet Simone is not married and prefers to stay that way. He prioritizes his career over starting his own family, and is a successful businessman in Pesaro.

Simone does care about family, though. While his work is approximately an hour away from Cagli, he makes the trip home to his parents at least two times a week, staying overnight, and then driving back to Pesaro the next day. His father, Romano, jokes that Simone comes so his mother can wash his laundry, feed him a good meal, and give him money. While Simone may appreciate the clean laundry and a home-cooked meal, he certainly doesn’t need the money. He father is from Pesaro, and Simone lives in the home their family owns there. He lives a relatively low-expense life, yet he earns a good salary.

I sat with Simone and Romano at the local bar, my own baby, Hailey, snuggled in my lap eating gelato. As we chatted, I learned about how family and work dynamics are different from many in the United States. Romano admits that he does want grandchildren, but that he can’t expect it because it doesn’t often happen that way. He joked that my daughter could come stay with he and his wife while I was in Italy, giving Hailey a big smile and half-hoping I might really take him up on the offer. Simone, on the other hand, leaned in to whisper to Hailey, “You’re not pretty when you cry,” when the late night hour started to catch up with her. He seemed to have no interest in children.

While I can get past many cultural differences between my culture and that of others, this Mama’s boy dynamic is one I have a very hard time understanding. I admit that not everyone in the United States wants to become a parent, but Italy is downright worried about the low birth rate in the country while young to middle-age adults don’t seem to mind and put off becoming independent from their parents. Personally, I think there is a nice balance between the two extremes. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if both Americans and Italians could launch out with families of their own, yet keep those strong ties to parents and extended family, coming together to share their rich heritage?

Your Comment

You must be logged into post a comment.