My Italian son living in Germany

by | Aug 29, 2023 | All, Blog, Kids!, Life Lessons, Stories | 0 comments

It took me a few days to calm my mind and soul and focus my thoughts before I could formulate the words for this post.  Jack left on Friday to move to Germany for a year as a Fulbright Scholar and to teach English in a German school.  The driver of the car assigned to drive him to JFK was a lovely and kind man named Saiful. However, I had to have ‘the talk’ with the man, and yes, I did somewhat threaten him with harm if ANYTHING happened while my son was in his care. He was wide-eyed, but the message was received…clearly. The “package” was successfully delivered.

My little Italian son was moving to Germany; who knew?

What is the Fulbright Program?

Jack worked very hard to get a Fulbright. I cannot thank the faculty and support from the University of Alabama, as they worked with Jack on his application and overall process, especially Dr. Matthew Feminella. Your heart, soul, and dedication to students are outstanding.

According to, 1 in 5 applicants win a scholarship.

The Fulbright Program, the United States government’s flagship program of international educational and cultural exchange, offers passionate and accomplished students and scholars in more than 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to mutual understanding.

The Fulbright Scholar Program for academics and professionals awards more than 1,700 fellowships each year, enabling 800 U.S. Scholars to go abroad and 900 Visiting Scholars to come to the United States. As a Fulbright Scholar, you’ll make meaningful contributions to communities abroad and at home, as well as in your chosen field. You’ll also advance your career by joining a network of accomplished alumni serving as leaders and educators across the globe.   

Jack, I hear it in your voice and the pictures you sent in this short period: Italy is in your DNA, and Germany is your home.

My Dear Chip,

Oh honey, I wished so badly that you could have seen him, now a grown man, comforting his mother when he was probably scared to death and wondering how this would all work out. He looked older that day. He packed the messenger bag I bought you that you used to carry your laptop and files to and from work every day.  To see him with that bag over his shoulder was too much- I am sure you can understand how I felt.

I am so sorry you are missing these huge events: Graduation from Alabama, Fulbright, and his life in Germany. Our nest is now genuinely empty, and it is daunting without you. Miss Tillie is a great companion, but she is not you. You should be proud of Jack and Amelia as successful adults and loving children who keep an eye on me in your absence.

I do not know if I can take “Chip to-go” on the plane when we visit Jack in Germany. I want you to come with me. I am looking into that now….

But Chip, rest easy. Some things that do not change across time zones and oceans

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. I do not know how German mothers are, but Italian mothers know no bounds, no international law or time zone restrictions. Thank goodness my children both understand my paranoia and tolerate my arguably overreaching activities:

  1. I use FlightView to track all flights for delays, departures, and arrivals.
  2. Yes, I use Life360 to trace their ability to get from Point A to Point B without issue.
  3. I cry. I have always cried, and now I cry more because I miss them both, and of course, I miss Jack more now that an ocean separates us. (Not that it ever made a difference.)
  4. I do look at their pictures, and sit in now empty bedrooms and actually feel some comfort.  We did a good job Chip.

Amelia, Skates, and I will be going to Germany together to visit Jack at Christmas. We will all be together once again, and I can witness first hand how this beautiful country of Germany captured our son’s heart and soul.

Letting them go is so hard.

When they are young, they are so full of dreams and promise, and it does not take long until you see it come to fruition; it makes every moment so very worth it. You would be so proud of them, Chip, and I would literally give anything to have you here to enjoy watching them bloom. Jack, I love you, and I am so amazed by you.

Ich wünsche dir das Beste, was das Leben zu bieten hat, und denk dran: Liebe deine Mutter immer zuerst! (I wish you the best that life has to offer and remember, always love your (Italian) mother first!- Google Translate)


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KarenHello and welcome.
I am often asked, “What is Pasta on the Floor?”
Pasta on the Floor is different for everyone. It is a recipe that tells a story and inspires them to try something new. For others, stories of family, joy, loss, and hope engage with them. This brings me a great deal of happiness. I do not take myself too seriously, so be forewarned the subject matter is open and truthful. In many ways, Pasta is a tale of life, and I think you will find familiarity and commonality as you scroll through these pages.

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