Wednesday, April 7, 2010

J'ai trois enfants

You know the saying, 'He's been promoted to his level of incompetence'? Well, some days I feel like that only it's more like I've procreated to my level of incompetence. I'm sure it's mostly down to the fact that we're here, all alone, no school, no babysitter, no close friends to help with a dig out when you feel buried by all your people.
This weekend I had one of those days.We went into Montpellier on the spur of the moment *warning bells*, spur of the moment doesn't really work with three kids. As we strolled down the lovely streets, the Baby ambled along in zigzags, giddy with freedom from the stroller. All seemed perfect. And then, hunger struck. Whining began. Perfection shattered.
We came upon a beautiful sunny square filled with cafe tables, all serving only drinks. Or too much in the sun. Or too much in the shade. Or not right in the most miniscule way.
As I looked around at all the young, free people, chatting away, so relaxed and sunning themselves while they drank coffee, white wine, cold beer, my heart sank. In that moment I wished for a time machine. If Mon Mari and I could only step inside it and be whisked away to 12 years ago, we could sit at one of those cafes, leisurely sipping cold white wine and talking; about our dreams, the world, how we are going to make our mark, fantastic ideas for the future. And then, after a few hours free from shouldering the heavy responsibility for the health, happiness and safety of three small people, we would happily return to now, 2010 and our funny, clever, beautiful children.
We made a quick escape from all that youth and longing and came home.
It was here, later that night as I hung out the laundry; pegging little t-shirts, pjs, and nightgowns that I felt it--the familiar feeling of joy, heart-swelling love and yes, responsibility that makes this the best life for me. I'm sure in 15 years time I'll be sitting in a sunny place, sipping du vin wishing for a time machine back to this. Right now. Wondering where childhood went and how it all blew by in such a hurry.


  1. Aidan, what a beautiful family. I remember those feelings so well. And yes, YOUR time will come again. And you will love it with pangs, just as you love this time with pangs. In fact, our lives are divided into several lives. All completely different and all to be embraced. As you are doing now. If I was closer, I'd offer to babysit!

  2. Delana,
    If we were closer I'd love to have you babysit! We actually went for it and arranged to go out this weekend. Yay!

  3. I recently became entranced by all things France and discovered your blog just yesterday.
    I am thoroughly enjoying every post! Your accounts of daily expat life in France makes me want to work on my French even more and buy a one-way ticket across the pond. But, alas, I have 3 kids of my own (4 if you count my husband!) who would shrivel up and die if I did.

    Some day...

    Trina aux Etats-Unis

  4. Hi Trina,
    Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it and love having new readers who are as into France as we are. You're way back at the beginning with this post...there's loads more to come!
    Bienvenue et bisous,


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