Bussola lives with his wife, their three young daughters- aged 2, 4, and 8 -, and two dogs in Verona, Italy. He is a cartoonist who doesn’t own a smartphone, and this book is his collection of everyday moments from his point of view as a father but occasionally as a husband, son, and grown adult. The book is divided into 4 sections each based on a season of the year- winter, spring, summer, fall.
Bussola is essentially romanticizing fatherhood in his memoir. His accounts are short, each spanning no more than 3 pages and most of them are dialogue- so it’s a very fun read that you can breeze through. Each story is child-like, heart-warming, hilarious, joyful if not all of these. His writing is clean and simplistic. Bussola’s accounts of how he patronizes sales calls are hilarious. And his daughters frequently ask him demanding questions about life, love, and death. Bussola answers these questions artfully with pizza as the metaphor- so the conversations end with the girls asking for pizza at dinner. And I have a newfound appreciation for coming up with metaphors in the spur of the moment that will satisfy a child’s unquenchable curiosity at least temporarily.
🕵 How I Discovered It
One of those books I picked off the library shelf. Firstly because the cover was lovely- yes I do judge a book by its cover- and secondly because I had been thinking about my father at the time.
✍️ My Favorite Quotes
“Virginia, Ginevra, and Melania are the lens through which I observe the world. My daughters remind me that being a father means living in that gray area between responsibility and carelessness, strength and softness.”
“That the most important and difficult part of being a parent is perhaps being careful, always, not to burn our children’s skin because of our fallible adult reasoning.”
“In terms of pounds, now I’ve got about a hundred more. Every day I lug them to school and everywhere else I go. I move like an elephant when I used to move like a gazelle. But the point is that a gazelle wakes up in the morning because it knows the lion is there. And the lion wakes up in the morning because it knows the gazelle is there. But the elephant is couldn’t care less. He doesn’t run and doesn’t hunt. He wakes up after sleeping for a couple of hours and does what he needs to do, knowing that it’s precisely his being an elephant that keeps it all together He wakes up when he needs to and moves slowly, even in a china shop. But when he moves it’s neither for a lion nor a gazelle. He moves because his life began when he became an elephant…” “…An elephant lives only in the present and knows that his present has a certain weight; he feels it in his arms and legs. In his back. Therein lies his strength. All the strength he needs. The kind gazelles wish they had and lions can only dream of.”