“This one is really, really special because I’m being honored alongside my mom and my sister,” Rosanna Scotto told Hamptons.com about the American Cancer Society’s Mothers of The Year 2015 Awards Luncheon. “I think that’s actually the first time that’s ever happened, so we’re really, really excited.”
On Monday, October 19th, Rosanna was joined by her sister Elaina and mom Marion at The St. Regis in New York City, where the trio was honored for their constant support in the fight against cancer during the 20th anniversary of the American Cancer Society’s Mothers of The Year 2015 Awards Luncheon. We caught up with Rosanna to discuss her favorite memories as a mom, growing up in the Scotto household, and her family’s Hamptons “upscale sharehouse.”
“We’re looking forward to being a small part of a wonderful organization [the American Cancer Society],” noted Scotto. “They really have inspired so many people and they give so much hope and we’re honored to be a part of the wonderful organization.”
What was your reaction when you found out you were being honored?
It was so funny, because at first we were reluctant. We were like ‘Oh the American Cancer Society is such a wonderful, reputable organization. Should we do it? It’s all three of us, we have to do it.’ I think if it was just one of us, we probably would have felt too intimidated to do this luncheon, but with all three of us together, it’s a lot of family support, so we’re excited.
What makes the American Cancer Society so near and dear to your family?
I’ve had family and friends who have battled the disease, some have won, some haven’t. My grandmother, who I never met, died of leukemia the month before I was born. My father’s mother died of ovarian cancer; I think it was right before my parents got married. So that kind of defined their married life. Losing the matriarchs of their family, it kind of hangs over.
Since it’s the Mother of the Year awards, what are some of your fondest memories growing up?
My mom was a stay at home mom, so my favorite memories are coming home from school and smelling the wonderful aromas of the cooking before I even opened the door. She would be there and homework would be done, and the family meal would be. It wouldn’t be an elaborate meal, whether it was chicken cutlets or a great dish of pasta, but it was always a home cooked meal and we always ate dinner together.
And as a mother, what are some of your favorite memories?
As a mother myself, I tried to emulate my mom. She was a terrific mother, always very, very supportive. I have different constraints. I’m a working mother and so I’ve tried to blend a little of the traditions that my mother established with me, and more “modern mothering,” as a working mother. Some days I wasn’t there when the kids got home from school, but I was there for dinner. I would make sure I was home every night for dinner. It may have been a quick dinner, but I was always home for dinner with my family. And Sunday is a big day in our house. We always have a family meal and it’s always a lot of cooking and a lot of talking and catching up. So those kinds of things we passed down, and the kids like that.
What do you feel are some of the challenges that the modern mother faces?
The problem is that there are so many distractions from every which way, including, obviously social media, the internet, and then the schools. When my kids were younger, not only the hours of homework, but the practices, the sporting events would be on the weekends. I’ll never forget my son had practice on Easter Sunday one time. I called up the coach and said, ‘Are you kidding me? Even on Easter Sunday you have practice?’ So there are a lot of distractions to chip away at family time and so I feel as a modern day mother, you have to somehow reign it in and get that time alone with your family.
Now you and your family are very close. You even have a house together in Southampton.
It’s a little crazy. We call it our “upscale sharehouse.” My mom and dad, my sister and her family, and my husband and I, and our children own a house in the Hamptons. While it may seem like, wow, that’s a little daunting, it works out perfectly. Everybody has a different responsibility in the house. The children love it because it’s always busy. So if my husband and I are out exercising in the morning, my parents are there giving the kids breakfast, and they like that. They love the Sunday meal, they love the fact that my parents are cooking early on Sunday morning, and there’s always friends and family over on Sunday afternoon for a big meal. They really enjoy it, and I have to say, we do too.
What are some of your favorite activities and spots to visit while in the Hamptons?
I do love to go spin at the Barn in Bridgehampton, every morning. That’s always part of the tradition. I also go to Mary Ann Browning in Southampton and she works me out as well. And then there’s always a lunch at the house or there’s so many great restaurants in town, from Le Charlot to Sant Ambroeus, and Tutto il Giorno is our staple, we love that place. I got to meet the owners, Gabby Karan De Felice and her husband Gianpaolo De Felice, and we had a great time there. In fact, I told them that I’m there so often, if they ever wanted me to hostess, I would gladly do it.
Would you say that cooking is something that bonds your family?
You know, cooking and family definitely go hand in hand. I remember so many times, good times and bad times, that were celebrated over food. It’s funny, I see that when my children help me prepare the meal, sometimes it’s like being in a car. They’re kind of held captive for the moment. You might find out things about them that you wouldn’t normally find out if you were trying. I find things come out a little easier while we’re cooking because the pressure is off the conversation, it’s on the activity.
For more information about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.