Before Ahlia was born I imagined what kind of a girl I would like to have. I had hoped for a courageous soul full of vitality and energy, enthusiastic and eager to learn. I had come to realise that learning was among one of my greatest passions and hence dreamed of sharing this love with her. My enthusiasm for self-edification developed a little late in life. In large part because my family home had entered a state of semi-paralysis once my parents moved from Italy to Australia. My dad had concluded that Australia offered little in the way of culture: music, architecture, cuisine and tourism. There was nothing to see, to eat or to listen too. So our bookshelves were never replenished with new material and there were never any visits to the local library. Radio Italia whose captive audience was made up of residents in their 60’s and 70’s: mostly uneducated villagers from an impoverished Italy adorned the airwaves, and I had access to very few new ideas or lifestyles.
Now I hunger to learn new skills and am responsive to new ideas. In having these hopes for my daughter, I was also aware that I didn’t want to impose my dreaming on her. I wanted to nurture and facilitate a desire for learning and making, not oppress her with it. If our daily rituals and activities inspired her involvement then I would be ecstatic and if they didn’t it could only mean that her dreaming lie elsewhere.
For now our lives are beautifully entangled in a weave of colour and texture and learning and I am positively enriched by it!