When my husband came home that night last February, a week after we had put in an offer on our first house, with an 8-week-old baby that we had no idea what to do with, and said that we might move to Paris, I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. It would be too hard, too far, too new, too much.
And it is true that we miss our family and friends. Really, we miss you a lot. But leaving the life we knew in DC has allowed us to learn a lot about who we are, what we want, what's important - and that we can do anything we want. This isn't an afternoon special - after all, on our first day, we locked our baby inside our apartment and had to get the firemen to break down the door. I've burned pie, and cried over laundry detergent. And cried over not understanding what people say to me. And cried over missing friends and family. There's been crying.
But there have also been baguettes, and croissants, and macarons. We've gone to Chantilly, Strasbourg, Colmar, Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Mont-St-Michel, Bayeux, the D-Day beaches, Honfleur, Giverny, and Lyon. We've gone to Portugal. We went to Chicago for five days. We've been to Parc Monceau, Jardin du Luxembourg, the Tuileries, the Bois de Bologne, and Parc aux Buttes-Chaumont. We visited the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, the Orangerie, the Grand Palais, and the Musee de la Vie Romantique. The butcher knows me, and the wine store lady loves Baby Oil, greeting him by name every time we stop in. I learned to bake croissants, to appreciate the wines of Bordeaux, and a lot of stuff about perfume that I never knew. There have been wine fairs, good and bad. We've made friends. We can take the bus and the metro with ease. Baby Oil learned to crawl, to cruise on furniture, to babble, and to drink from a sippy cup. He turned one and we lived to tell the tale.
I'd like to speak and understand more French, and we look forward to having more established friendships. But we are settling in, and I have to say, it's pretty amazing. This city is beautiful though often gray, clean though covered with dog poop, special though frustrating. Don't worry, family and friends, this doesn't mean we want to stay forever. But it does mean that we are happy that we made the choice to come here, and we feel incredibly fortunate that we've had so much support from all of you as we figure out this whole living-in-France-with-a-baby thing.
Six months in...going strong. I'm sure because I have written this overwhelmingly positive and borderline cheesy post that something ridiculous will now happen. Stay tuned...c'est la vie!
|Macarons, August 2011|
|Baby Oil discovers nectarines, July 2011|
|I make croissants, November 2011|
|Pont de Alexandre|
|Colmar, August 2011|
|Villandry, September 2011|
|Lyon, November 2011|
|Parc aux Buttes-Chaumont, September 2011|
|Marche aux Puces, August 2011|
|Honfleur, October 2011|
|Giverny, October 2011|
|Parc Monceau, July 2011|
|Uncle Oil's wedding, September 2011|
|Parc Monceau, November 2011|
|Praia de Marinha, Portugal, December 2011|
|Lisbon, Portugal, December 2011|
|Baby Oil's First Birthday, January 2012|