Luciana Littizzetto has opened the dam within which she had sheltered her private life. On Monday she will arrive in Lucignana (Lucca), in the Sopra la Penna bookshop, to tell the festival “Little Lucy” her experience as a “mother of heart”. It is she who defines herself in this way in the preface of her latest book, I trust you (Mondatori). Subtitle: Story of my children born from the heart. Vanessa and Jordan, now 27 and 24, were not born from Lucianina’s womb. They never called her “mom.” And this, she confesses, gives her a little bitterness. “I’ve come to terms with it, patience,” she says. And her words flow quickly as she retraces the 16 years of foster care of the two brothers who make her laugh (and damn). “For me, I could also be childless. I have never had – she writes – that irrepressible desire for a swollen belly, for life growing inside the bowels and for breastfeeding like Madonna and child ». It was a chat in the living room with the “legendary Defilippica” (Maria De Filippi, ed) that ignited the flame of foster care in her, at the time engaged to Davide Graziano (former Africa Unit drummer).
Why did he choose to speak right now?
«One of those moments has arrived when you feel the urge to tell, to stop the experience on paper. At the same time, I wanted to be a flywheel (I am not saying an example, because I am not an example) for foster care that, especially in recent times, are fading. Between lockdowns and economic difficulties, families have increasingly withdrawn into themselves. But the kids continue to be in trouble. Their conditions have not improved. Indeed, the global situation is also having rebounds on family balance ».
He wanted to show that it can be done. You can raise two children in foster care, even as a single mother, with a roaring career in TV, radio, cinema and publishing …
“Getting foster care isn’t difficult. Adoptions are more complicated, and this is a moot point. However, foster care provides the possibility that the children return to their natural family: you have a good chance that they will make a piece of the road with you and then leave. This causes some concern, because the horizon is not clear. No custody is the same as another, you never know what can happen. Also that, as happened to me, then the natural family no longer exists ».
However, the open wound that prevented Jordan and Vanessa from calling her “mom” remained …
«They call me Lu. Those wounds are wounds that reopen every now and then. Like herpes: it stays there, maybe quiet for a while; and then a thousand sparks explode. My children are always changing; impermanence reigns supreme. And the wound changes in size and pain intensity, I think ».
If he could, would he have adopted?
“I could have, as long as I got married. But even before talking about it with Maria (De Filippi, ed) I had many times to visit communities that host children. And I was already having an experience with Svetlana, who has always come to me for the Chernobyl Project and now she is trying to move to Italy. Later, I realized that they are two completely different things. Svetlana has a balanced family, who loves and follows her, and she took care to send her to Italy to avoid the risk of contamination. Jordan and Vanessa, on the other hand, carried a trailer of pain with them. ‘
Do you believe that the progress made on assisted fertilization has blocked fostering and adoptions?
“I think those who decide to adopt have an attitude towards that experience. There are also those who choose adoption because they cannot have children, but in my opinion it is not a very good starting point. I respect all the choices, not that it is unfavorable to assisted fertilization, God forbid. But I don’t like persistence, in any field that has to do with life. Maybe because I’m a fatalist ».
Fifteen days after entering his house, Jordan was selling the signatures for 1 euro each. He made them of all colors. Up to bringing her to exhaustion, repeating to her: “Do you want to send me away? Send me away! Come on! Send me back to the community! ”. But from the first meeting it was clear that he wanted to come and stay with her …
“He wanted to be like the others. He wanted to have a family. This is not because they were sick in the community. Jordan and Vanessa have been there a long time; I don’t know how much; their past is a bit smoky. They remember that period as a trip, in which they had a small dose of love, from the educators Luca and Piera, and companions to play with. But also so much pain, because there was always a friend who went away, in foster care or for adoption. And they always stayed there, because they were brothers and nobody wanted to take two kids. ”
A great feat, also because Jordan was already a teenager at 9 …
“He has always been ahead of the others. He has frailties as big as a house, but he is very smart. Vanessa more fragile, smaller than her age. He wanted to be an adult, to solve everything ».
He in one way, she in another, they immediately showed her that love is a complicated thing.
«Tiziano Ferro is wrong: love is not a simple thing. Love is an endless whorehouse, a hodgepodge that makes your heart beat and jump your nerves, sometimes at the same time. It is complicated even with natural children, because you have to deal with the character of each. Then maybe you project on them desires that they will never realize. And instead you must love them for what they are ».
How did you manage to win their trust?
“Slowly. Along the way, as happens to natural mothers. Take a step forward, go back; again forward, backward … Then you stop, everything seems to you crystallized. The path is not smooth. Now I feel that the trust is there; but every now and then the evil worm returns and makes me sick and I say to myself “What the hell, do I have to do it all over again !?” ».
His children belong to a generation that has little faith in the future. Do they have any?
“Vanessa is very strong-willed. She graduated, then she did the IED. She now she works in digital media marketing, in Milan. She and she is happy. Jordan is much more disenchanted in the future, even more lazy. He works on movie sets, but he doesn’t want to make plans ».
“I’ve already seen you somewhere,” Vanessa told her at first glance. “But you know them all teeee?”, She asked her in the first walk together Jordan, who instead did not understand. This summer he discovered that his colleagues did not know that he was the son of Luciana Littizzetto. And they hardly watch it on TV. But do you think they have learned anything from her work?
“Like all parents, I try to educate by example. Words are less useful, especially when children have the attention of a goldfish. And if you sell your autographs at nine, there is little to explain. It is who you are to educate them so much ».
What do you laugh at with your children?
«We laugh a lot at people’s ‘buffoonery’. Our animals – dogs and cats – to which they are very attached make many laugh. Like me, who are a cat lady and a cagnara ».
“I trust you” is also bestiary. Why did you choose to intersperse the story of your life as a mother with the behavior of animals?
“I liked the idea of going to look for an affinity with animal maternity, maybe discovering things I didn’t know about octopus mothers, the giraffe and the quokka, which throws their child to the predator to save himself, so he would die anyway”.
“A giraffe mother. Loving yes, but not an octopus. Especially in tough experiences like that of foster care, one must always keep a little piece for oneself ».
Having overcome the intolerance for perfect mothers (“pythonesses with blueberry eyes always ready to make you feel inadequate and useless like the little finger for harpists”), she created, as the giraffe does, a network of mutual help with mothers friends .
«It is important to find friends who improve you, with whom you can share difficult moments but also joys (which few are capable of, while it is easier to have people by your side in misfortunes). I tried to get away from those who told me “You won’t make it anyway”, “The apple never falls too far from the tree”, “Don’t straighten a crooked branch”… Those who are not in bad faith say it to prepare you; but I prefer to hang out with positive people ».
C.what did he learn from his children?
«With them I discovered many things, I became more elastic. I was raised by the nuns, the only child in a super-traditional family, hypochondriac, always very present, apprehensive … I too was a bit like that, but I also learned to be more relaxed. For example, our house has always been full of friends and boyfriends, while as a girl I never went to sleep with a friend or a boyfriend ».
Did you then take your boys to Tuscany?
“No. We were in New York, but not in Tuscany. The truth is, I’m not a great traveler. David was more so. On trips, with me, they have lost a chance ».
An only child with a strict upbringing. How did you get the desire to make people laugh?
“It’s a natural attitude. A talent, some would say, that I have had since childhood. I was often sickly, at home with a fever, and I read Brothers Grimm fairy tales. When I went back to school I told them to the teachers. Not that I had any idea of doing what I do now. ‘
From daughter of two milkmen to successful comedian: even in this she has shown that it can be done.
“I told my parents I wanted to be an actress. They replied “Maybe you didn’t understand correctly”. They had sensed that I had an artistic attitude, but they did not immediately understand its direction. They enrolled me in the Conservatory. As soon as I was able to afford it, I paid for acting school ».
“Alone as a stalk of celery” is the title of one of his first books. But she has never been the only one. With Fazio, for example, you have been collaborating since 1991 …
“There has always been. It was a coincidence. At first I didn’t know anyone at all. But I am a fatalist, as I said ».
Have you ever lost the desire to make people laugh?
«Well, in the last period … The desire to make people laugh has never passed; rather, the difficulty has increased, especially for those like me who are very attached to what is happening. My comedy is inside life. And when the political, economic, global or perhaps personal situation is complicated, I have to deal with a lot of stuff ».
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23 September 2022 | 18:21
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Luciana Littizzetto: “Vanessa and Jordan don’t call me” mom “, it’s a wound but I got over it”
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