I sat at the dinner table flanked by two people I could call “mom,” a situation I never before imagined. My semester abroad in Siena, Italy, was coming to a close. Rosanna, the smiling Italian woman who had cared for me the last four months invited my mom and me to a farewell dinner in the cozy kitchen of her antiquated, medieval apartment. As the smells of Rosanna’s crisp bruschetta and velvety gnocchi filled the kitchen, my American mom deferred her title for the evening, allowing herself to be mothered for a change. Dining with Rosanna offered her a more complete picture of my Italian experience than I ever could have conveyed through words. As I had, she gained an unfiltered glimpse of the Italian lifestyle—the appreciation for rich sensations and the love of art and performance. As she watched the two of us adore her cooking, Rosanna too learned more about my culture through the lens of my mom, providing proof that experiences like these are just as much about sharing as they are receiving.
—Robert Abare ’13