Today was definitely a new experience for me. We all went to mass at the church in Petrosino for a service for Leo’s uncle that passed away a year ago tomorrow. We (Leo, myself, his parents, one of his aunts, cousin, cousin’s wife and their 2 kids) all got to the church at the same time and missed out on all the seats. Leo’s parents went to squeeze in next to his aunt Maria (the widow) and the rest of us stood in the alcove behind the pews.
The church was ornate with several chandeliers made for candles, but modernized to use bulbs. This church wasn’t as ornately decorated as I’m used to seeing, but it was lovely inside. The priest’s voice boomed through the expansive interior, aided by several speakers along the ceiling. I couldn’t understand the service, but I never can when there is an echo. So I decided to people watch.
There was a couple sitting right in front of us and the wife was holding an adorable little baby girl. After a while, as the husband took the baby, I observed their interactions with each other and found them to be very sweet. He was also sitting next to his mom, who was the next in line to hold the baby. It was interesting to watch their dynamic--he was loving and playful with his wife, devoted and attentive to his daughter...but totally attached to his mother. It was funny to watch their body language; he sat closer to his mom, nearly arm in arm in her, yet there was a good amount of space between he and his wife. So typical, it is one of those cultural things. I see it in nearly every couple here. The bond is between the mother and the son, and the wife seems secondary. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this (like mine, thankfully), but from what I have seen in this town, it is more often than not. And who spends more time raising the kids? La Nonna (grandma)!