I’m in France as I write this, and I can hardly believe it. Seriously it’s all so surreal and I feel like I’m dreaming. Am I really back in France? Is this really going to be my life for the next six months? Waking up in the morning on the Côte d’Azur once again is weirder than I was expecting after being away for so long. But on the other hand, so little changed while I was gone.
When I got to the airport, the kids reacted just as I had expected them to. Matt ran up to me, yelling “Allie! Allie!” and jumped into my arms. Liam hid behind Fede’s leg and pretended he didn’t care one bit, but that little sparkle in his eye told me otherwise. Mila was just getting over being sick, so she was really tired and stayed in Fede’s arms (and let’s be honest, she was probably pretty confused, too). The boys took my suitcases and rolled/rode them back to the car, yelling and shouting and running into things all the way. Seriously, nothing’s changed. Once in the car, the boys talked and shouted and asked me a million questions, but after 16 hours of travel I could barely think, let alone respond in French. At one point Fede called Papa Noël (literally father Christmas, but the equivalent of Santa Claus) when the boys weren’t quieting down. Didn’t do much, but it was worth a shot.
That evening, the kids took a bath while I unpacked my suitcases, and then we all (minus Jeff, who was in Paris for a boat show) sat down for dinner – lasagna (real Italian lasagna made by a real Italian woman), vegetable soup, and, of course, fresh baguette (how I missed you). We played some kind of santa claus and his reindeer game (don’t ask), and then the kids went to bed.
Monday and Tuesday I was able to chill and do my own thing for most of the day. On Tuesday at about 3:30, Fede and I went to pick up Mila, then the boys, and then take everyone to karate (it was diploma night!). Yesterday (Wednesday), I helped with Mila in the morning (the boys were at school). At 11:30 we went to pick up Liam and Matt (the French school system is weird and the kids don’t have school on Wednesday afternoons), and brought all the kids to a buffet/cafeteria-type restaurant for lunch. They have a little play place to keep the kids occupied (somewhat), and the food is actually really good (their dessert bar, I tell you. ❤ <3). After a short break in the afternoon, it was back to playing games. Outside. I’ll try not to rub it in, but the weather’s been in the 50s/early 60s and feels like spring. (It’s 59 now).
Overall, adjusting back to French has been pretty easy. Talking in French seems natural, and it seems I’m picking back up where I left off, albeit with a little rust that will disappear with time. I’m already starting to think in French, which is only annoying when I’m trying to sleep and need my brain shut off. It turns out it’s pretty hard to fall asleep while writing blog posts and e-mails in your head in a foreign language. (It should also be noted that said blog posts and e-mails will eventually be written in English, so this French-ification is entirely unnecessary.)
When I was at home I had dreams that I was here, and here I’m having dreams that I’m at home. Overall, though, I’m adjusting pretty well. I’m still struggling with the fact that I won’t be home for Christmas next week. I already miss Caribou and driving wherever I want to, and being able to sit in a coffee shop and do anything or nothing. I miss my bed ( yay boxsprings) and my cat. I miss it looking like Christmas and sounding like Christmas. And obviously I miss all of you. I don’t remember it being this hard to adjust last time I was here, but maybe it’s the Christmas season.
Anywho, I don’t want to end on a melancholy note. Next week is Christmas, whether here or there, and Fede’s family will be coming into town. The kids are super excited about getting presents from Papa Noël, and I can’t wait to see them open them. We’re going to a sort of shopping mall next week (what it really is was lost in translation, but I’ll find out), and hopefully it’ll feel more Christmas-y. This family loves me and I love this family, and January brings trips to the Alps and Milan. And never once have I regretted that I made the choice to come back. 🙂
That’s it for now. Hope all is well across the Atlantic. ❤ to you all,