When I was younger, every Sunday was spent visiting my Italian grandparents. Dressed in our best to impress outfits, my sister and I loaded into the car, and our dad drove us to the tenement house he grew up in with his big Italian family.
Unlike the stereotypical Italian sons who live with their families well into their thirties, my dad moved out of his childhood home in his early twenties after he got married. Yet as a true Italian, my father recognized the value of Don Corleone’s quote to Johnny Fontane in The Godfather when he said, “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” Although my dad no longer lived on the second floor above his grandparents, or below the floor with his aunt and uncle and cousins, his strong connection to family kept him going back every Sunday.
Making sure that my sister and I were aware of our Italian heritage was a strong motivator for my father to drive us to our grandparents each weekend. When we arrived, we were always greeted with hugs and kisses just as warm as the heat emanating from the kitchen. On the table, there was an array of Italian goodies to satisfy our growling stomachs. While my sister and I dove into the homemade egg biscuits, chicken soup or pizza, my dad and his mother immersed themselves in conversation about the “good ole days” in their Italian neighborhood.
To read more, check out the original post for Georgetown’s weekly magazine The Guide.