Will you miss it?
Are you ready?
You must be really busy preparing to leave.
What do you need help with?
And what I've been doing this morning is lying on the couch, looking out the window, thinking about the answers (in no particular order).
I'm going to miss the georgeous red berries in my neighbor's yard. I am going to miss the houses around here that are built with multi-shaded, multi-shaped stones cemented together in no apparent pattern, but with great appreciation for the texture of the rock. I am going to miss seeing the Eiffel Tower whenever I go into town. I am going to miss the incredibly fresh food I get from market every Wednesday and Saturday.
I have made such wonderful friends here, in the expat community, in the moms-married-to-French-men community & in the French community where my children go to school and to temple. I am going to miss them all. I trust that some friendships will fall away with time. But others will get richer & deeper, no matter where we may live. I've learned from this experience that the world is indeed, a very small place. I can, and will, get around.
Right now, my preparations to leave involve thinking about where I haven't yet been. What will I regret missing if I don't do. The list is fortunately, not unattainable. But there are things I've had to take off the list. Things I would have done if I'd had more time. Gien. Normandy. Nice. Loire Valley. The things I'm going to do/see over the next six weeks: Get a portrait done at Monmartre. Visit the Opera house. Take the Paris Fashion Tour. Get a guided tour at the Louvre (don't just wander around on my own). Walk in the forest. See the chateau at Versailles.
Things I'll try to do differently next time: 1) Dont' worry so much about feeding the kids. Trust that if they're hungry, they'll eat. Praise god they like fruits & a number of vegetables and we'll work out the rest. 2) Visit places sooner. Remain a tourist longer. Don't trust that there will be a "next year" to get there. Go now. You'll make friends along the way. 3) Arrange babysitters sooner. And use them more. Spend time with each child individually and with T.
What do I need help with? I'm working on my lists and I'm sure there will be a number of things. The most important one is to remember that it's ALL temporary. I do not need to stress about what I cannot change. Remind me to keep laughing & keep loving & appreciate what's in front of me (not just Paris, but family & friendships). I'll keep you posted. :)