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I have been reading the book “La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair With Italian Language”. I really wanted the actual book, but I ended up buying the the digital version from Kindle on my iPad. Some other time I may tell you how much I really LOVE my IPad. I am going to stick with the story I want to tell you.

In the book I ran across this…Italians enjoy a furbo, this is someone that is cunning enough to pull of a deception of some kind. There are various levels of being a furbo too. A furbetto is a little child that blames another child for something they did. Fubacchione is someone that obtains a permit for something illegal like a rectangular pool that is lined in cement, but calls it storage vat for local firefighters. Furbastro is someone that can make money out of the a scam. A Furbone will end up making big profits, and negotiating a deal for the whole village. Someone that is a furbizia  is a little deceiver.

So what is the point of telling you all of this? My son is a furbo. Geez, he is in the 6th grade now, but he is experienced beyond his years. He has always been great at distracting people with his charm and charisma. He talks to everyone. They tell him their life story while we wait in line to pay for the groceries. Old women whip out their wallets full of cats, and tell him the name of each cat. When they were born, and the story of how each cat is unique in its own special way.

Once he started going to school he discovered that there were things he loved about school, and things he did not. Well, the things he did not do he made excuses for not getting them done. ONE of the many things he did was to tell his teacher he could not see across the room. He failed his eye test at school, so the school told me in a meeting with the Principal, Learning Specialist, and Therapist were all on hand to tell me that I should take my son to Berkeley twice a week to an eye specialist. This is not a cheap trip. We paid thousands of dollars, and I worried “How could I not see that my son had a vision problem?”, Is there something more seriously wrong? So many questions were swirling around in my head. Two years we went to the specialist at Berkeley.

One day I noticed that he told me about a car that I could not even see on the other side of the road. I told the “Specialist” that I thought he was just loving all the attention. She told me that it was almost impossible for a child to fool all their high tech equipment. He would have to be a genius to pull off something so sophisticated.  So like I said this went on for two years. Two times a week. It was sessions that were only suppose to last an hour, as my daughter and I waited in the lobby. Interns were in the room testing, and having him play video games that “strengthened” his eyes. One day the interns that I left him with were running around from one side of the building to another. I went in to find out what was going on, and my son told them he would not play one of these games without a crown. They had been making him a crown, and allowing him to boss them around. He was even having them call him “King Sergio”. I was pissed! My daughter and I had been waiting in the lobby for him to have a crown made. I told the interns to just come and get me the next time he acts like this. They then told me “We don’t want to hurt the relationship we have with Sergio. We like to make sure the child wants to come back, since it is a stressful time for the child.”

We attended the two nights a week for the two years. Finally, I stood up to all the authority figures, believing that there was nothing seriously wrong at this point. I took him to a regular eye doctor to figure out if her really did need glasses. It was getting a second opinion without the school or Berkeley involved. The OTHER eye specialist told me that some kids just crave a little extra attention. Why don’t we allow him to have a very low prescription glasses. I did this, and we went back to Berkeley because I had to have a signed paper that he had completed the whole course. He had eye drops put in his eyes the day I took this photo. He looks like he is 6 going on 50. His sister does not look pleased. This is just one of the many, many, episodes that we have danced around with my son the furbo. Do you have a furbo in your home?

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