Saturday, May 30, 2009

*Waving from Paris*

Bonjour à tous! I know it's been a while, and honestly I won't write much today, but I did want to say hello and let you know we're having a wonderful time. Rowan is over her jet-lag, saying her "Bonjour" and "Au Revoir" and "Merci", eating lots of fabulous bread and loving chasing pigeons in the parks. I am eating massive quantities of my favorite cheeses, enjoying un verre or two, and catching up with friends I normally only get to see through this little screen. Though I wish I had tons more time--there are so many wonderful people here that I would love to see. I guess we'll just have to come back!

We've had the chance to take a few side trips; one to Chartres, Chateaudun and Brou to visit a non-blogging friend, and one to Champagne to visit Vivi. I've had many lovely lunches and teas with mes amies, and spent lots of time with Aimee, Max and Julien. Yesterday we took the opportunity to picnic in the Jardin des Plantes, have tea at the Paris Mosque, and then tour the church St. Germain de l'Auxerrois, the home parish of the kings and queens of France while they were living in the Louvre (also where Eva Longoria married Tony Parker in the religious ceremony.) It was incredible. Pictures to come!

I don't even want to think about leaving yet, but it's coming so fast. I feel back at home, like we never left, my french returning quickly and easily and my "France face" back on. This time is a little different though--people are friendlier when you've got a cute little kid in tow.

So now we are trying to fit in the last few things we'll have time to do before we leave on Monday. Soon we head back, much much much poorer in money but richer in so much more.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Learning By Example

Every kid does it, at this age--all parents learn that quickly when they see miniature versions of themselves walking around, spouting the same phrases, with many of the same habits. Rowan is a little mimic, and repeats much of what we say and do, looking to us for approval.

I didn't expect, however, that she would mimic everyone.

The other day, as we took Lucy for a walk, Rowan followed behind. She stopped at each tree, fire hydrant, and random clump of grass and touched it with her nose. Puzzled, I watched her a little more closely.

Then I saw.

Lucy squatted to relieve herself; Rowan squatted behind her. She looked up at me, a big grin on her face.

Let's just hope she doesn't try to "wash" herself next.

Friday, May 08, 2009


We were up, dressed, and nearly packed. Rowan was finishing her oatmeal, and I was toasting some bread and sucking down coffee. Then we got the call.

"We missed our plane!" Sob, sob, hysterical crying followed by anger at her husband's mistake. But they were coming, just later. She would understand if we didn't even want to make the 4 1/2 hour drive to New York.

"Rock, we're still coming. I planned, I packed, we're ready. Even if we just have dinner together, it will be worth it."

I crossed my fingers that my pep talk with Rowan the night before had stuck. "Roxy! Josh! New York! One two fee foh five six seben eight nine ten!" She was excited.

We took our time, checked the net, and got going around 9:45. Leisurely is much less stressful, and being trapped for many hours in a big city with a toddler who wasn't reacting well would be my idea of a nightmare, so I planned for a little time but not too much. We got approved to check into their room early at the hotel, and I set the GPS.

On the road, Rowan was *great*. She snoozed for about 30 minutes, but mostly just stared out the window, calmly watching Pennsylvania slide by. We stopped at a little local place in Hazleton, PA, for lunch, eschewing the "freedom fries" that were still on the menu, and surprising the waitress by ordering coffee, no cream (I guess she was expecting me to either ask for soda or a cappucino), and by Rowan's excellent behavior. I had a roast beef, fried onion and cheddar on toast, and Rowan wolfed her hot dog, applesauce, and most of my mixed veggies. We cranked the tunes and drove on.

As we headed into the city, the headache settled in, thanks to the smog. We got to the hotel, asked for advice from the front desk, and went to settle in. I had forgotten to fill my Excedrin, but other than that, all was well. We planned to take public transport into Manhattan, because quite frankly $45 is a lot to spend on a car ride, and after a year of Paris buses and metros, I wasn't worried. We were heading to Central Park first.

"Are you excited, honey?"

"Yes!!!" she said, and danced in a circle.

"Having fun?"

"Yeah!!! Yay!!!" she shouted, as she jumped up and down.

"Where are we?"

Her face split into a huge grin, and she squealed.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Faith of Confusion

Rowan and I go to church each week. I am Lutheran, though I used to teach in a Catholic school. Her dad is a Buddhist. We have crosses and Buddha heads in our home, living together happily. Rowan says her prayers at night before bed, and has coffee with Buddha in the morning. She goes up for a blessing when I receive communion, and does yoga with us at home.

Today, as she was playing with her new Madeline puzzle, Rowan brought over the Miss Clavel piece.

"Who is that?" I asked.


I really hope we don't run into any habited nuns in the next few days. They might not take that as a compliment.
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