Worldschooling adventures: Florence, Italy

Before i had kids, before blogging felt a monumental task, back when i slept on couches, rented rooms of my house, worked in Nashville 3-4 days a week … oh, just writing about it makes me wonder what circles I was spinning in … anyway, the BEFORE me would be just oh-so-proud at the current me, and that alone feels like a win. 

I’ve had all kinds of ups and downs, more trials than I care to ever talk about, and more people doubting me than I would ever have imagined. And they mostly doubted the same thing: that my life would become boring after children.

So I think today, having followed my brilliant almost-10-year-old’s path through Florence, Italy, chasing Machiavelli’s shadow and searching for Galileo’s finger, feels like a win.

I’m in Italy this week … it’s a work trip, but more about that later. And it’s also a work trip for GRAHAM, who will be 10 in a few weeks, and who has a film premiering at the Venice Film Festival soon. 

We decided to make a homeschool field trip out of it, given that we’d been studying the Ancient ROman Empire and the Renaissance and art and science.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those obnoxious families (okay, they are only obnoxious because we are all envious!) who travels the world with their children, working remotely, gigging at night, painting during the day, homeschooling and teaching my kids that the world is so much bigger than they could ever imagine.

Today was one of those beautiful days where my dreams were realized, and we did the simplest things. Dinner was some cheese and veggies we picked up from a wee supermarket in the middle of Florence.  We popped into the Galileo Museum after a friend noticed I was in dear Firenze and suggested it. Graham marveled at Archimedean Screws and Astrolabes and stumbled upon the third finger of Galileo’s right hand (for real: it’s in this museum … just … why?!), and told me all about Machiavelli and Cosimo and Lorenzo and Michaelangelo and of course, his favorite: da Vinci.

We didn’t even begin the day with plans. We stumbled out of our apartment in city centre, and popped around the corner to the Piazza Santa Trinita seeking a croissant and espresso … and stumbled upon the Florence Urban Sketchers, plopped down, sketching the column of Justice and the Santa Trinita Church. And of course i had my sketchbook on me, and Graham wanted to draw on Procreate on his iPad … so we joined them, met tons of locals, plenty more travelers who were also artists, and we were still for two hours just sketching and chatting and LOOKING. 

I’m going to finish up some of my sketches, but for now just wanted to write and say hello and ponder the possibility of worldschooling full-time and express my gratitude … for what? My gratitude for gumption. I’m so grateful I’m able to just DO these things and figure out The How later. I’m still working my butt off at a zillion jobs, and do look for a new record to come as soon as my record label gives me the green light … but for now: shall we look for an art show? I’m hoping to find a way to get my sketches and bigger pieces an audience and pave the way for even more exciting future.

It’s cliche to talk about how you do the big things after you almost die … but also, some things are cliche because they are true. Take the trip: you’ve never promised a tomorrow.

Galileo’s Middle Finger

Graham’s drawing of a palazzo

My sketch of St. Trinita

Lots of artists drawing the world around them …
urban sketching in Florence

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  1. 1)Is Galileo flipping us the Bird?
    2) I hope your readers know who Lorenzo and Cosimo were. Some of us do🤞🏻