The day to day routine is changing quickly around me:
Chelsea leaves the first part of August to go to school in San Francisco. Sacha is looking for a ticket to the States...any day now... and French Husband leaves tomorrow morning for three weeks on his motorcycle to the North Cape in Norway with friends.
Me... I am preparing to open the door. To put on my best smile, and wave: "Have fun! I'll miss you! Be good! Be careful! I love you! Goodbye! See you later..."
The funny thing is as I sit here typing my blog at the kitchen table the thought occurred to me...
When I arrived in France I realized that this was it... That I was most likely going to be living here for the rest of my life. It was a fact I did not look at closely when I married Yann and followed him back to his home country. I was a jumper, and asked questions later. As the reality of my decision sank in that visiting a foreign country was one thing, that knowing you are on an extended visit is another, but it is quite another thing to know that this is your life.... that this foreign country is going to be your home.
I did not take it is stride. Instead I stumbled with my stubbornness, cried as I compared France to the States finding fault with everything. Making France my home was not as easy as falling in love. I was homesick. I felt that whatever power I had, whatever courage I had obtained, whatever notion of "I can do anything..." had left me standing alone with a massive Eiffel Tower outside.
It took years to call France my home. It took becoming pregnant, having children, raising them as a Bi-lingual family, it took sending them off to French schools, doing homework with them when I could not read the words properly, being told that parents do not volunteer in the classroom, nor bring cupcakes. It took birthday parties were singing "APPY BERTDAY" with a French accent was norm. It took years of doing everything the French way (baguettes) with a twist of American (Peanut Butter) on the side for me to finally feel home in France.
Having a family made France my home.
That first morning, as French Husband left for work at seven he kissed me goodbye and said he would be home around eight that evening. As soon as the door shut I was alone in France.
I opened my time agenda book as if it could tell me what to do, or who to call. The blank page stared at me. What an odd feeling it was to have time, and no where you need to go and no one to see. Nervously, I grabbed my orange metro pass, looked in the fridge made a mental note to pick up a few things for dinner, then wondered where the grocery store might be? I grabbed the enormous key to our studio (which was nearly as big as our apartment, and too big for my pocket.) stuffing it in my book "Les Miserables" and walked outside to my new life.
Today I realize I am opening the door again... it feels so familiar in such an odd way.