June 1: Everything changes

Lorenzo loves being a dad. Seeing her for the first time was a love he had never experienced before that moment. Listening to Lorenzo talk about how much he loved his new baby girl and how everything changed for the better gave me hope for the future. Their lives have a whole new focus and they’re excited about it.

We brought the pizzas home to Valeria and the three of us had the most wonderful night in. We talked about jobs, babies, art, UK vs US vs Italy, and everything in between. Lorenzo and Valeria are both academics. UK’s maternity leave is decent, up to 52 weeks, mostly paid. Lorenzo has been able to have a flexible schedule so he can be with them more.

At first, Valeria thought that she would want to go right back to work once she had Alice and now, she’s thinking of extending her leave.

Unlike America’s absolutely shameful 12 weeks and paternity leave is even less. I know some mothers/families do not even receive the 12 weeks depending on where they work.

When are we going to create a culture that values mothers, fathers, and families? When are we going to create a culture that values their employees equally? When are we going to create a culture that does not make people choose between working or staying at home. I fully understand that some people want to stay at home but, other people want to work and have children. How do we create various affordable options for people of all backgrounds, genders, partnerships?

Just a few life questions to consider.

Anyway, the three of has had a lovely time. Valeria walked me to the bus stop so she could get out of the house and we have each other a bigggg hug before I left. On the ride back to the hostel, I thought about how grateful I was for a lovely evening with friends I hadn’t seen in 8 (?) years and how happy I was for them. I also looked forward to a shimiless shower in the dorm and a full night’s sleep so I could get up early and embrace London in the morning.

But that is not what happened…