When I was taking my daughter to the airport on Sunday for her trip to Paris with her cousin, I overheard her saying, “That’s how I know my mother posted to Facebook, because all her friends are texting me.” I had not posted anything about her trip to Facebook. My friends were texting her because they knew she was leaving and because they are the best people on earth! (my amazing brothers and family are included as friends…)
At the same time as they were wishing her bon voyage and safe travels, they were texting me, asking how I was doing. I am happy to report that I am fine! I am thrilled with every text and photo I get, and furthermore I am not even a little bit anxious. Seriously.
What I am is jealous! I can’t help thinking about what we would be doing if we were there together. I am also remembering what we DID do when we were there together. We took a bateaux bus down the Seine, and climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I had my first real clue about the extent of my vertigo at the Eiffel Tower. We saw an obscene puppet show outside of Notre Dame. We took an open air bus and joked that we saw Paris from the outside. We refused to eat anything but French food (except for ice cream!)
Of course she was four years old then, so we weren’t drinking a fabulous rosé in a perfect sidewalk cafe. (I suspect that would be a multiple-times-a-day pastime now!) We were not shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, accessories. We weren’t having caffe at a patisserie. We weren’t eating baguettes at the Jardins de Luxembourg. We weren’t meeting friends at the Ritz Bar at George V.
I hope she is doing all this now.
I hope she is exploring the city and making it her own. I hope she is speaking French at every opportunity. I hope she stumbles upon a perfect little cafe, or restaurant or shop, not listed in any guide book. I hope she is moved by history–and by the present. I hope she gets her summer reading done. I hope she is feeling Parisian.
I hope she comes home changed, and charged up and wanting more.
And I hope she comes home safe.