Not all those who wander are lost.

Vi Presento Folco – Il Prossimo Che

Regarding an unborn child, parents usually say something to the effect of: “No preference on boy or girl, we just want the baby to be healthy.” Somehow I doubt this was the case for Simone and his 4th child.

With three healthy, happy, strong, independent, stubborn daughters, I can only imagine how much Simone longed for a son. Just one more Being to bring a slight balance to the testosterone-to-estrogen ratio. As my father can attest, the 5 female-to-1 male family ratio is just plain cruel. (In the words of Phil Wax, “Four daughters is my punishment for being sexist.”)

Two years later, I can see the pride in Simone’s eyes when he looks at his son, Folco. The name is unique in Italy, but it is an Italian version of the word “folk,” meaning “of the people.” And Simone has communicated to me, on numerous occasions, that little Folco is “il prossimo Che” – the next Che (yes, as in Che Guevara) – fighting for the people against capitalism and economic inequality. How’s that for high parental expectations?

Folco is entering the Terrible Two’s, and it has been incredible watching him explore his world and test its limits. His personality is truly starting to shine, especially in his facial expressions. He is learning new words at an alarming rate and now, with my help, he’s also picking up the English equivalent. He is the only one in the family who says “Katherine” instead of “Kadreen,” but his favorite Italian words are:

“VIVA!!!” said when he is thoroughly enjoying something new.

“Sta zitto!” – a command meaning “Be Quiet” – usually said when he hears the dog, Toast, barking.

“Ciccia” – a word for kids meaning “meat.” This child is a carnivore.

Folco is a master artist and proudly decorates any surface or wall. He adores his “bee-chee” (tricycle) and has no fear going down the hill by himself at a gut-wrenching speed. He will always let you know he is finished eating by helpfully clearing his plate, aka throwing whatever is left on the floor.

He is truly a charming toddler, this Prossimo Che, and bacini (little kisses) from him simply melt your heart.


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