Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Just when I think this city is done surprising me, I learn something new.

Today I learned that in Paris, canaries are priced by how well they sing. Which leads to so many questions, such as who is the judge of quality, and what if you disagree with your bird's abilities?

I also thought I was done with pregnancy-related anecdotes.  And then a friend went to her last appointment with her ob, three days before a scheduled cesarean.  The doctor informed my friend that the baby looked ready to go, and he was concerned she might go into labor.  "Please, do me a favor," he says. "Take a cab home, and lie down for the rest of the day. I have a reservation at a really nice restaurant tonight so I don't want to be interrupted by you going into labor."

Right now every interaction and experience is colored by the reality of our impending departure.  I have been eating so many baguettes in anticipation of no longer having ready to access to them that I may actually be baguette-d out.  (I say this every day, and it hasn't actually stopped me from eating one yet.) We have a bucket list of things we'd like to do before we leave, and we're heading on our last big exploration of France next week, when we go down to the Basque Coast.

I feel some regret about leaving just when Baby Oil is starting to speak French, and that Mademoiselle will have had so little time in her country of birth.  For a long time, it felt like our life here was simply a time-out from our "real" life in the States.  Somehow, along the way, this turned into real life. 

I get two more months of life in this city of sliding-scale canary prices.  Two more months of watching 10 year-olds zoom by on their scooters, holding tight to the baguettes under their arms.  Two more months of elderly Parisian women going ga-ga over Mademoiselle in the grocery store (seriously, this happens often). Two months to prepare for life in New York, a life about which we know nothing except where Baby Oil will go to preschool.  Which in New York, it turns out, is a major accomplishment given that we missed every application deadline.  Who knew that they were so deadly serious about preschool? The acceptance letter we received read like a university admissions letter - "We are pleased to inform you that [Baby Oil] has been accepted into our program."

Two months left.  What do you think we still need to do here?