Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fear Delivers Unexpectedly

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 -

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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Fashion Must!

No Parisian should be without one, or almost Parisian (as I am since I technically don't live within the city limits, and not because I am American) It is the biggest must-have item. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has one regardless of age, religion, race, or gender. An accessory that comes in a gamut of colors, patterns, styles, even some in patent leather. Oh La La! It's not a beret (way past that l'èpogue), nor a Hermes bag (not affordable to everyone), nor a Chanel something (although I'd really like a pair of one of their amazing sunglasses), but... a trolley, a.k.a. bag on wheels.

Back in New York, you only see little old ladies pulling them along, filled with groceries. They are usually metal and squeaky. And only in the outer boroughs, I have yet to recall seeing one in Manhattan. Anyway, these things are everywhere here. I can’t step out into town for a baguette without seeing at least 6 or 8. Of course, you can see the little old French lady with one, tugging it along the narrow slanted sidewalks, but … you even see the big sunglasses-wearing-sleek-blonde-past-her-peak- French-model towing one behind her catwalk strut.

At first, I laughed but then it got me thinking... they're onto something here, and its not the fact the French can make anything look chic. Nevermind the different varieties or the ridiculous prices some go for (I saw one for 165 Euros online, absurd), it definitely has a utility. The thing I initially scoffed at ..was now appealing to me. I wanted one!

There are so many to choose from, it was overwhelming. In the end, price won...15 Euros! I ain't that crazy to pay more than that. If I was, my husband would... make me return it. I can only imagine what the leather one cost. Imagine if Louis Vuitton made one from it's signature motif. Hmmm.... no, no, no... not that crazy. Anyway, I used it yesterday for the first time, and I am in love. Faire les courses (grocery shopping) is such an ease. No more sore arms and/or neck from heavy bags. No more tipping over the stroller with the ginormous reusable grocery bag when my daughter leaps out of it. Now, I simply drop off my munchkin at school and strut into town with my little fiery red roller. I may not have runway experience but I can work it. Life just got easier.