School starts tomorrow. A new routine for all of us which means everyone will begin to go their separate ways. It has already begun with soccer practices this week and Sarah invited to a birthday lunch today. It kind of makes me sad. I have really enjoyed this month of “The Engles Against the World”. All we have known is each other and all we have had is each other. I remember our second day here, Elizabeth and I took our 20 minute walk to go find the larger grocery store we had heard about. We had such a good time chatting there and back and playing detective as we looked for that store (“There’s someone with a green plastic bag! And there’s another one! They are coming from that direction!”).
There has been something magical about it only being “us”. No one (including me) is distracted by a phone call or chatting with a friend. No one is waiting to be picked up for this activity or that. No one has a lesson, a practice, a rehearsal, a game. Just us. We have discovered new card games (we can’t wait to introduce you all to 6 Qui Prend) and tested out different yogurts and packaged cookies. We have discussed fashions in the windows and on the people and laughed at our mistakes. We have been frustrated together when we don’t know what we’re doing and then stepped back to watch each other navigate the Metro and the streets of Paris with ease. We plan dinner together, make dinner together, eat dinner together, clean up dinner together. We read at night (currently Swiss Family Robinson which is amazing BTW) and the kids teach us how to play new computer games. Who knew Cut the Rope could be so addicting? The girls have spent time together (and apart) designing and drawing fashions. All three have created new worlds with Legos. We have found free full length movies on YouTube so we can continue our Sunday evening movie and Taco Salad night. Tom and I have run together and worked out together. We all did P90X Ab Ripper together yesterday morning! Julian and I created some weird ball game outside and the kids found some rope to make a communication system between the windows. We have held back laughter during church (my cousin Laura knows how hard this can be) when your shoulders are shaking and you can’t even make eye contact with each other or you will literally lose it. Our dinner conversations have taken the form of favorite super heroes, politicians and the importance of honesty, our likes and dislikes of the Catholic church, what it means to have a conscience.
This is why I came. I don’t think I could send one of my children away for a foreign exchange program. I already feel like my time with them is short enough. But to do it together? Ah, yes. This is what I wanted.
I miss my friends. And I’m exciting about meeting new friends. But this time…just Tom and Kelley and Sarah and Elizabeth and Julian (and Chili). Just us. This we will always have.