Friday, March 22, 2013

The Second Star to the Right

I suppose you could say that I’m a dreamer, reality is never as fun as escaping to a place like Never Neverland. So one night, as I tucked my two sweet Milanisti into bed, I looked outside the window to see if I could see Never Neverland. Neverland can be reached by heading to the “second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” I had long dreamed of a second star above Milan’s crest, indicating 20 or more Scudetti, but I had a hard time believing that I could reach it just yet. I don’t know if I fell asleep singing this song or if I maybe had a little too much pixie dust, but this is how this adventure happened…

It seemed like I was flying, whisked off toward Neverland with my two little ones by a mere boy, a boy who said he never wanted to grow up. He said his name was Mario Balotelli, and he said he could take us to Neverland, that place where the second star gleamed bright over Milan’s crest. But how were we flying? It seemed that Mario had a trophy called Ventesimo Scudetto (or “Twentieth Scudetto”,) a trophy filled with pixie dust. By simply believing in Milan, the Scudetto’s pixie dust allowed us to fly toward Neverland and straight on till morning.

When we arrived at the island called Neverland, we immediately met several of the Lost Boys… There was El Shaarawy, Niang, and De Sciglio, for example. They all believed in a Second Star for Milan, and shared Mario’s vision of eternal youth. Massimo and Sofia immediately took to them and delightedly watched as they played with Flying Donkeys, Griffins, and wild Zebras. Still, it was hard to believe it all. I wanted that second star, I truly did. But was it really possible?

The Inters had no power over Mario and the Lost Boys  here on Neverland

As Mario showed us around Neverland, we met both friend and foe. One day, we met up with the Inters. The Inters were like a tribe of natives, but they were not very friendly. Mario admitted that for a little while, he had lived with them, and they were still angry with him for leaving. So the Lost Boys had a battle with the Inters. It didn’t seem friendly at all, but in the end, Mario and the Lost Boys won, sending the Inters back onto their side of the island. Mario told me that here on Neverland, Milan always defeated the Inters.

Next we travelled to Mermaid lagoon, to meet the WAGS. The WAGS were beautiful creatures, but they didn’t seem to care for us very much. They sat around all day preening, and they all laughed incessantly when Mario and the Lost Boys said anything remotely funny. But they seemed kind of mean to me.

Rotten apple indeed

While we were at Mermaid lagoon, we saw a giant pirate ship. Mario told me it belonged to Captain Berlusconi, a rich pirate who was also Mario’s nemesis. Captain Berlusconi had a first mate called Galliani. This Galliani seemed nice enough, but in the end, he was beholden to Berlusconi, so couldn’t be trusted.

Suddenly, Berlusconi emerged from the shadows and challenged Mario to a duel. He called Mario a rotten apple, but Mario knew better than to reply to that. Instead, he and the Lost Boys did battle and showed the wicked Captain Berlusconi that with faith, trust, and pixie dust, they could conquer all.

Like a certain crocodile, his contract kept on ticking,  torturing the pirates

Captain Berlusconi was distracted by a ticking sound. It seemed that there was a crocodile called Allegri. Allegri had been given a contract until 2014, hence the ticking sound. Captain Berlusconi feared no one more than Allegri. So he forgot all about Mario and the Lost Boys and ran all the way back to ship, sailing as fast as they could to escape the torturous ticking.

I loved this Neverland. The place where Milan always triumphed and where Mario and the Lost Boys ruled over the land. They drank from giant trophies and defeated foes before breakfast. I especially loved that second star, burning bright above Milan’s crest. But the practical side of me knew that the kids and I could not stay here forever. We would have to get back to reality soon enough.

The Lost Boys celebrating the 18th Scudetto

Mario seemed sad, but it wasn’t because I said I needed to leave. Ventesimo Scudetto seemed to be losing its luster, it seemed. In fact, it was almost completely out of pixie dust. Apparently, trophies can only exist if we believe in them. It was up to the fans all over the world to believe in Milan and especially in the Ventesimo Scudetto. Mario said that we had to say it, over and over again: “I believe in Milan. I believe in Milan.” Together with Massimo and Sofia and the Lost Boys, we shouted it over and over again until the Ventesimo Scudetto glistened brightly again its and pixie dust was spilling over.

But looking up at the sky reminded me of the place where we were still two Scudetti away from that second star, and I knew that I had to go back to that place, even if Neverland was so much more enticing. As much as the kids wanted to stay with the Lost Boys forever, I knew that they would appreciate Neverland that much more if we earned our way back to that second star someday.

My two favorite Milanisti will surely return to Neverland someday

So we said a tearful goodbye to the Lost Boys and all of our new friends. Only it wasn’t a goodbye. We knew that by believing in Milan, we could find our way back to that second star and all of our friends soon enough. I told Mario to never grow up, that he and the Lost Boys were perfect just the way they were. So with an extra big helping of pixie dust from Ventesimo Scudetto, Mario led us back home. He showed us in the night sky where we could see the second star, so we could find our way back.

I heard chants of “I believe in Milan! I believe in Milan!” I realized it was the kids, they seem to have had the same dream I did. As we laughed and shared stories of battling corrupt pirates and Inters and wild Zebras, I realized that even in the morning sky, I could still see that second star. It didn’t seem so far away at all.

This post inspired by the music of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”
(but mostly by J.M. Barrie and also our fabulous “Lost Boys.”)