Last week the peace and quiet of my parents’ well-curated rooftop terrace, which includes a collection of cacti they picked up all over the Americas and repotted here in Naples, was disturbed by workers refurbishing the building next door.
My parents were horrified as the builders had to rip off the bougainvillea from the wall, where they had been growing and flourishing for the past 20 years. But Lorenzo, my 15-month-old son, was happier than in a playground.
All of a sudden, the plants were all chaotically jumbled together, there was a ladder in the middle of the place, and rubble all over. He jumped from one spot to another picking up little stones and soil, and mixing them in his hands. He found a puddle of water and added that to the mix. To his surprise, mud appeared on his hands, and he examined its consistency in awe before swiftly cleaning it off on his onesie and moving on to pick up a piece of plastic.
What to my parents was chaos that interrupted their sense of a structured home, for Lorenzo seemed an opportunity to play in a magical land of colours, textures and elements.
But how can such different visions of home live together peacefully under the same roof?
I examine this in the piece I published today – you can read it here.
My main takeaway is that we adults n…