Biology is the less than what makes someone a mother. There is no phase of my life – up until her death a few years ago – in which I do not remember her being by my side.
FROM THE DAY I was brought home from the hospital, still wrinkly, dusted with talcum powder, and with half-closed eyes, besides my mother, father and brother, there was our nanny Lina who welcomed me. There is no phase of my life – up until her death a few years ago – in which I do not remember her being by my side. When Lina complained that she would have ended her days at the Bagina [rest home] it was mainly a test for us and it always made me smile. I knew that she would have never left our home, and so it was until her last breath. Did the fact that Lina and I were not related by a single drop of blood, that her life with us was ‘technically’ a job, and that I already had a loving and caring mother make our relationship less strong? Not at all. Lina was family: a third parent in effect, simply because she cared for me when I was a child and I cared for her when it was her turn to become a child again. Simply put, Lina had and will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks to Lina I soon realized that the role of parent can be earned ‘in the field’ with love, dedication, care, sleepless nights, appreciation for improbable collages and much patience. In short, even if she never had children of her own, I’m sure that Lina left us knowing quite well what it meant to be a mother.
FAMILY is mutual love experienced every day that preferably lasts a lifetime. The ideal family with a mom (perhaps white), a dad (maybe rich), a son (perhaps good at sports), a daughter (maybe slim and poised), a Labrador (perhaps yellow), a Siamese cat (maybe with eyes that are the same color of turquoise as the Sardinian sea) and an SUV (perhaps with low environmental impact) is a family like many others, no more and no less, no more happier or successful or stable than others. A child needs security, care and affection. His parents will be the people who offer him this. You just have to know these children – children of a ‘rainbow’ of different possibilities for love – to realize that they are desired, sought, and cared for by their mother or mothers, by their father or fathers. These families – and there are many in our country – are still waiting to be invited to the main table that ensures rights, equality, inclusion and respect. That wait has become increasingly arduous, also in light of the recent and reluctant step ahead made by Italy, the Cirinnà Law, which has excluded children from its protection. Their request for legitimization has been returned to sender for an undetermined time, and yet their lives are now in full sight even through Italy prefers to pretend that they do not exist. Why do people easily accept the idea that a grandmother, a nanny or an aunt can be a ‘second mother’ to a child yet still have trouble understanding how two wom- en who love each other can successfully share the experience of motherhood?
YOU’RE AFRAID of the boogieman under the bed until you muster the courage to take a peek and realize that there’s no boogieman. That’s what I invite you to do. Meet these families to discover that their love, fears and desires are the same as yours. The same gazes, the same bonds, and the same bedtime stories.
Photography Sebastiano Mauri
HAIR AGATA PEYROT @ ALDO COPPOLA, MAKE-UP SARA DEL RE @ ALDO COPPOLA, LIGHT DIRECTOR RICCARDO FERRI, LIGHT ASSISTANT MATTEO BELLOMO, DIGITAL TECH ARNALDO ABBA, STARRING ELEONORA GIMOSTI, EMMA LUCREZIA MARIA GIMOSTRI, BERENGERE LUX, ELENA MARTIGNONI, LUCA MARTIGNONI, VALENTINA MARTIGNONI, ACHILLE MAURI, LOU MAURI, SANTIAGO MAURI, DANIEL MUNARI, NICCOLÒ MUNARI, GRAZIANO OSTUNI, SOFIA OSTUNI URAN, JUAN URAN, POST-PRODUCTION LAURA BAIARDINI