There were days when all I wanted was to go "home" but even more days when I reveled in all that was magical about this city. There were days when I was so tired I dreamed about a brief hospitalization for a non-threatening illness but even more days when I felt so grateful to be parenting in this sophisticated place.
I could make a series of lists. Lists of the countries we visited, the regions of France we explored, the wines we drank, the pastries we sampled, the museums we toured. But lists don't capture a life. Tonight my closest friend here made the point that back in the US, I will likely feel the way we used to feel coming home from summer camp. That sense of being back home, but missing your alternate universe. That feeling of everything around you being the same, but maybe you yourself are different.
Paris has been a magnificent teacher. She has taught me about love, friendship, children, courage, trust, confidence, ballet flats, bread, rain, humor, and patience. I am leaving this place feeling the most myself I have ever felt. That is a gift to cherish.
Tomorrow I will get on a plane back to the US - just me, two kids, two car seats, two strollers, two travel cots, four suitcases, and four carry-on bags. A week later I will meet Mr. Oil in New York, sans children, to start our apartment hunt in Brooklyn. I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that we aren't coming back to Paris.
I have no regrets about how we've lived the past two years. We are so, so lucky.
|Max, July 2011|
|Villandry, Loire Valley, September 2011|
|Parc aux Buttes Chaumont, Paris 19eme, September 2011|
|Portugal, December 2011|
|Versailles, April 2012|
|Italy, May 2012|
|London, October 2012|
|Paris swimming pool, December 2012|
|8 months pregnant in Burgundy, December 2012|
|Nava Sylvie, born January 23 in Paris|
|Nava, March 2013|
|Giverny, May 2013|
|San Sebastian, Spain, May 2013|
|Scotland, June 2013|
|Nava in Parc Monceau, last day in Paris, July 6 2013|
|Max in Parc Monceau, last day in Paris, July 6 2013|
|Last day in Paris, July 6 2013|