Fear. The propulsive factor in so many decisions we make or don't make. It can dictate so much. The night my own fear crept in, I remember clearly because it hardly comes alone. What was I doing here? The main question that scrolled through my mind, bringing panic along with it. Each time, I had a different answer. At the moment, they were mostly negative, until that ray of hope that we so often wish for struck through my cloud of gloom. Mentally isolated, I swam through the black hole of the internet, I searched for others in Cyber-space who were in the same boat. Luckily, I stumbled upon on a familiar website - Meetup.com.
I found many anglophone groups based in Paris. However, there was one that tickled my curiosity - British Mums & Babies Coffee Morning. The home page looked promising with meet-ups regularly, and one that week at the Musée Rodin. I took it as a sign, since I am fan of the honoured sculptor. Briefly though, I told myself I couldn't join because I am not British. Being a huge anglophile, I wondered if that counted for something. My little arrow glided over the the join button anyway. I followed up with an email to the group organizer apologizing for not being from the Royal Isle. She gladly welcomed me to the group saying there were mothers from all over the Anglophone speaking world with children pretty much in my daughter's age range. Perfect!
The Musée Rodin wasn't hard to find since I had googled it. FYI: I google everything, I mean everything! However, I poorly estimated how big Paris is...again. Fear (yes, fear) of getting lost in the vast metro system I opted to walk. Arriving sweaty with all traces of make-up gone, the group wasn't hard to find in the garden by the museum's cafe. A cluster of pousettes,(or push-chair, pram, or how in America we say... stroller) was a big tip off that I was in the right spot. I was rather early, before the group was too big. I find that in this state of transition all my sensitivities, fears, and angst are heightened. Big groups are one of them.
Late morning into early afternoon, I began to feel the familiar sense of me. The English chatter was comforting. As I talked and opened up to the Mums, I felt relaxed and realized I had finally released my clinched jaw. Even the children were relishing in the company of the group. What was especially wonderful was seeing my own daughter open up to others. She played. She ran. She laughed. She even hugged. And I realized this wasn't just for me but for her too. As articulate as a three year old can be, they still can not express the impact of change. Her world had changed just like mine. She missed hearing the language. She missed seeing her friends. And here in the middle of Paris, she was making new ones. We both were. It was a wonderful day, despite the fact I didn't really get to see any of the sculptures. I suppose that speaks volumes. I didn't know it yet or necessarily believe it, but my life was about to get better... our lives were... in many more ways than just one.