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Small Triumphs


Okay, so amidst all of the sadness, sometimes there are small triumphs. My small triumphs this season are my two children. Yes, that’s right, I have two children. And a Juventino husband. So which club would they support?

Which club would two little superheroes choose?

Well, they grew up watching both teams, and they knew which team was Dad’s and which team was Mom’s, of course. But Massimo naturally wanted to be like his father. Plus he worshipped Buffon, so he originally chose Juventus. Sofia loved Buffon, too, but identified with me and also liked Milan’s colors better (such a girl thing, I know!) and thus proclaimed herself a Milanista.

But as she has gotten older, she’s become a bit of a Daddy’s girl. So she proclaimed herself a Juventina… for a day. Then she decided that she didn’t want to divide her parents and she wanted to choose her own team. We discussed this at length, as I explained to her that teams choose you, not the other way around. We said she could follow any team that called to her. Well, except Inter. We made it very clear that becoming an Interista was grounds for being disowned.

She was a Napoli fan for a few weeks because she liked the color of blue on their uniforms. But then she decided she wasn’t really into football after all and took a month or two off. Then she realized that football was the language of our family, and she missed it, too, so she became an exclusively Azzurri fan to remain neutral to all parties, and made signs to put up for the Italy matches. She even sang the Italian National Anthem at her choral concert at school last year.

Magic 8 Ball, which club should I follow?

More recently though, watching me blog and reading all of my posts, she finally broke her father’s heart and pronounced herself a Milanista. We talk all the time about the players, the games, and the blog posts. She and I belt out Inno Milan at random, I think she knows all the words now. Although her favorite is “Chi non salta Nerazzurro è,” she calls Inter “the bad I-word.” And I think the team colors are still a big draw, as her school next year has red and black as their colors, too. But as she gets a little older, maybe some of the better looking players will also help keep her interest. For now, I am enjoying the small triumph of having a Milanista daughter in spite of her Juve father.

As I mentioned, the boy originally chose Juventus. With Buffon as your idol, who wouldn’t? But I found him by my side more and more often watching my Milan games. Milan was like their mother tongue. We talked about players, positions, and especially ref calls. Not only had he played a little football, he had also reffed his sister’s games as an assistant ref and enjoyed that even more than playing. I was loving his interest in Milan, but we had always said we would let them tell us which team was theirs.

A game controller never was so telling

Then one day, he was playing FIFA, and he told me that he’d made some transfers to Milan. He said he’d brought Buffon over, and some guy named Del Piero, because he was rated very high. (Not because he was on the back of dad’s jersey or anything.) I could barely contain myself, and yet felt so bad for my husband, and did my very best not to be glib when he came home from work that night to hear this news. He still has no idea how much he broke his father’s heart, and doesn’t fully understand what a bandiera is. But from that day forward, Massimo was a Milanista, although he told me he had been for a long time before that. Another small triumph.

Both of them love reading my blog, (but not the comments, I never know what people are going to say!) and while they don’t watch every match with me, we are able to share conversations and fun Milan moments together. When I pick them up from school on gamedays, they always ask me who won. And the answer is me. In our family, it’s Milan 3, Juventus 1.

The one thing we can all agree on

I can’t feel too bad for my husband. He was born near Rome, and his family are all Romanisti. He turned on them very early in his childhood by telling them he was a Juventino, so he can’t really say anything about his children betraying his club. And he has some solace in that we are all Azzurri fans. We never pressured them one way or the other, and the irony of them following in his footsteps of betraying his father’s club is not lost on him, he accepts his fate and respects their choices.

But in a year when Milan fell to Juventus, this household gained two new Milanisti. They could have jumped on the bandwagon last year when we celebrated the Scudetto. And they could have jumped wagons when Juve won the title on Sunday. But no, my two Milanisti watched  through good times and bad before they felt the call of their Rossoneri blood. And I am one very proud Milan Mom.


Our last game of the season is Milan vs. Novara
Sunday, May 13 • 15:00 CEST (9am EDT)


This post inspired by Elaine’s Milan Mix, including Inno Milan, Chi Non Salta Nerazzurro È,
Devil Inside, Forza Milan, Love Me Dead, etc.