Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mom’s turn- My reflection on visiting France

When looking at the blog the other day, Olivia commented that it was a family experience and that I should have a turn at writing. Well, it’s been a rainy day and since we’ve been hanging out inside all afternoon and Ted just called to let me know that Mike would be late, I thought I’d give it a go. Be forewarned, I tend to be a bit verbose, which Olivia, means I will write a lot.

The kids have written everyday about their “adventures” and I believe that this really is a misnomer. We have not found the “adventure” that many of my friends found on their trips. In fact, I’m sure it seems as if the kids aren’t doing much, although I can tell you that they are quite content. What we have been able to create here is a little piece of home for all of us, complete with our normal routine. At home, we would spend our time reading, swimming, visiting, and running errands before Mike came home to join us for dinner. We have the same life here. Every day we run the errand of getting bread or postcards and then head to the playground. We go for a hike (unfortunately one time it was accidentally for 9 miles!). We also read and have got to do something that we have not been able to in a long time. We have taken the time to read aloud and enjoy a book together, 2 so far. We swim and, thanks to Skype, get to visit with friends and family every day. And each evening, we are able to spend time with Mike.

In many ways, I feel as though I have cheated my children out of that fabulous European trip. No sightseeing, no museums. I know that there is an issue with my own discomfort and also with having the money to pay for admissions, a car, gas, etc. . . We are also at the mercy of Mike’s work schedule. The first 4 days we were here, he was working nights! And our main objective is to see him, no matter how much we would have liked to spend a couple days in Paris seeing the Eiffel tower and visiting the Louvre. But I also know that I have done much better at the one thing Luke said I was not good at, doing nothing.

I am thankful that I had this opportunity. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people of La Petite-Pierre. People have said that the French are very rude. This must have been a reflection of the person who said it because everyone we have met has smiled and wished us “Bon Jour!”. In a part of France where the two language options are French and German, we learned ways to understand each other. Like the little boy who couldn’t understand why I was telling him that I couldn’t speak French, when I was speaking French and who attempted to tell us his name (which much to his horror we completely mispronounced) or the wonderful old lady who wanted to tell me something about my children as we were walking down the street but after learning that I only spoke English had to just shrug and smile. Or the waitress at one of the restaurants that we frequented who would bring the English menu and the French one so that I could find what I wanted and then show her on the French menu. And the hoteliers! They have been so kind to give us 2 bedroom suites at the same rate they were giving Mike his one bedroom room so that we could be more comfortable as a family.

While here, I read our July book The Glass Lake, Mom said that that’s what I was doing, vacationing in a town like Lough Glass. Oui! I have enjoyed our trip here. I don’t think I will look at it with the wistful look many of my friends have. I most definitely did not take in the exotic tastes of France but I have loved the bread! I do think someday I would like to come back and travel as a tourist with Mike. Someday, I would like to see the Louvre. But for now, I’m excited to be heading home and will anxiously be awaiting Mike’s 2 weeks(hopefully) with us before he heads to Germany.

No comments:

Post a Comment