It’s a big ocean

It,s hard to be a control freak of a mother with a job 6000 miles away from the little body that gives you life and breath. I got to Italy on Friday and no call from home. I can understand that; I just got here.
Saturday everybody gets here from all points; maybe he thinks I,m too busy for a phone call. I have a supernaturally polite husband. I email him. “Write me.”
Nothing.
At five to three I call and nobody answers. 6000 miles away you’re sure they have forgotten you and moved on on, dreaming of someone who doesn,t make you eat pasta that touches your broccoli, who doesn,t give you hard boiled eggs in your lunch; someone who doesn,t make odd clothing choices, someone who gives you all the time in the world to talk about anything you want. A mother who never leaves you.
Sunday, no answer.
On the outside you would hardly know; it,s the faintest drain of color, the tiniest cracks through my heart valves.
On Monday the phone rings. Ferdinand mumbles and breathes through the phone and my blood starts walking it’s normal route. I ask him if he slept and if he ate and if he,s remembering to do his homework.
Neither one of them are talkers but I can hear them.
My lasagna is much better than it would have been. I caramelize two red onions, a carrot and a celery stalk with half a tiny yellow one and half a head of garlic with a sprig of rosemary, a sprig of sage, a bay leaf and parsley. Add 2 pounds of freshly ground beef pork, two sweet sausages that have been braised in simmering water w a splash of red wine and browned before going in and stir with all kinds of patience until the meat is completely cooked through. I spill a quarter cup of wine in twice, letting each one be absorbed beforemadding the other. I crush the tomatoes in my hands and let them cook with the rest of it. On the side make a bechemela, being sure to cook the flour and butter until it tastes like shortbread before adding the milk. Give it a spoon of mascarpone to give it all you got. Grate a pound of Parmesan (Reggiano or Padano).
Make pasta from 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of water. Knead for at least 5 mintues, let it rest and then roll out with a three foot dowel on big wooden table until it is thin enough to pass for paper. Layer sauce, pasta, sauce, b├ęchamela, Parmesan, and repeat. cover tightly with parchment and foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes and uncovered for ten. Let it sit. Hold your hands if you have to. toss a salad with lettuce greens, wild mint, basil, chives and parsley. Give it a drizzle of your best olive oil, a spill of white balsamic and a grind of salt.
We ate it all with a tiramisu for dessert.

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