Good Advice

I have overwhelmed myself today by reading every Paris and/or France book, article, website and blog which has my head spinning with the names of all the streets, cafes, museums, jardins, shops and bakeries I could ever want to go.  I became frozen just thinking about where to start.  That is, until just moments ago, when I read the end of a fellow EABJM (the kid’s school) parents’ blog about food in Paris where he wrote:

So, put that stupid guide book away. Take off your running shoes. You live here now so eat like you mean it.

I think he is speaking to me.

Maybe I need to let go of Kelley, American-style.  Maybe I am still acting as though I’m a tourist on vacation and trying to cram many experiences into a very short time.  Maybe I am feeling everyone here is a step ahead of me and I’m never going to catch up.  Maybe I am caught up in still wondering how I got myself here and what my life will look like on the other end of this experience.

I need to take my lead from the kids.

Elizabeth is fascinated by the graffiti: how it gets where it gets, the fonts, the colors, the why.  She is disgusted by smoke and holds her finger under her nose when we pass someone that is smoking.  She can’t WAIT for school to start.

Julian is fascinated by the motorcycles and scooters.  They are everywhere, every style and loud.  He went to the bakery himself today (a fellow lover of the croissant) and came back grinning that he completed the entire transaction in French.  He was comparing all the French soccer jerseys today.

Sarah is not fascinated by anything.  This is not a negative comment; it is because she has taken Paris in stride.  She directs us from one train to the next when the rest of us are still looking blankly at the SORTIE (EXIT) sign.  She is un-phased by the money, the tickets, the food, the street musicians.  Again, I say that as the highest compliment.  I wish I had her confidence.  She is already emailing classmates that are here from Kazakhstan, New Zealand, and Taiwan.  Her experience is going to be life-changing: I can feel it.

So, maybe tomorrow I won’t lace up my running shoes.  Maybe I won’t open a guide book.  Maybe I’ll just enjoy being in Paris.

Categories: Kelley's Kilometers | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Good Advice

  1. Karen Hoffmeier

    Love the blog today. When we were there I was also taken in by the graffit, but our guide said it was different than what we see in the states…..more artistic. Good for Julian and his trip to the bakery. For some reason I can just see Sarah taking it all in. You will all have so many interesting experiences. School will be another dimension to this journey.

  2. love this.

  3. Colleen Hartman

    We both eagerly await your blogs! Soak it all in.You will still remember all of it when you are our age. Store up every ounce you possibly can as a daily experience and it will be so much easier in a few weeks. Just look at how much you have learned so far! I too remember the graffiti and the cigarette smoke plus dogs everywhere. So many more pets than in the states. Chili should feel right at home!!

  4. Barb

    I say do something totally mundane like scrub your toilets. That will convince you that you actually live there and aren’t on vacation. (And I’m sure it’s WAY more fun to do in Paris than in the U.S.). 🙂

  5. Maureen

    Kelley…you are honest and awesome!!! Do whatever makes you happy…any Kelley is the best! Missed our weds walk!!

  6. Karen Hoffmeier

    Kelley, I think your description of how you and the kids are learning Paris are exactly like you all were in Wisconsin, too. You all have such unique strengths, so go with them. I know it’s a little early, but Sarah should start thinking about being an exchange student in high school. I’m sure Middleton has a Rotary club as we do, and we sponsor a student almost every year. Most travel their junior year.
    Something to think about.

    Love each of your blogs. Keep them coming.

    Love, Dad

  7. Michelle Benko

    Love this post!

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