The first time I tasted a tomato in Italy, it was like no other tomato I had ever tried. Sweet, sun-kissed, and alive with flavor.
It was like the first time I saw some of Rome's most famous spots. Unforgettable. Breathtaking. Beauty that changes your life if you let it.
As a visitor, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the crowds and people-watching and miss some of the majesty of this city. Living here, the distractions are even worse. You really have to pause, take a few deep breaths and look again. Sometimes I'll be off somewhere in my mind, then I turn the corner and it hits me. This is Rome.
Even a neon sign becomes romantic.
This week as I met with friends to say goodbye, I realized that my connection with this city and its people will always be strong. Arriving here 6 months pregnant, it honestly felt like the whole city was waiting to meet Roman. Now strangers touch Roman's hair when we walk by in the stroller. Sure, I don't know where their hands have been and part of me wants to be angry, but Romans have such warmth, especially when it comes to children that I have to smile. Three separate shop owners shed tears saying goodbye to us, and not because of the money they will lose due to our departure. It's because once you befriend a Roman, it's a serious friendship.
I became a mother here. That will always be my link to the Eternal City.
But saying goodbye is also exhilarating when I think about what's around the bend. The kisses and hugs from the people who know me best in the world and who will welcome us home and feed us. See you soon from greener pastures.