The wife is not beautiful in a classic sense but she has an interestingly mesmerizing face that is fun to look at. She has enviable style, too, and is always decked out in something cool. Not Parisian fancy, just unique, like she can pull off cream-colored bell bottoms with orange cowboy boots.
These mystery foreign people (I'll call them Hot Thing One and Hot Thing Two) have always been very friendly but for frustrating reasons I don't fully understand, I am unable to communicate with them. I'm embarrassed to say it could be intimidation because of their exotic god and goddess-type looks, but regardless, every time they attempt a conversation with me, the dumbest things come out of my mouth.
It's been a year and a half of non-sequiters by MJ. I can't remember them all but they're always something like this:
Hot Thing One: Have a good day!
MJ: Go sleep well and enjoy the purple!
Hot Thing Two: Have a good vacation!
MJ: I have two hands! Pirates!
I am always so embarrassed when I walk away, I smack myself in the head and am pretty sure I taught Lucien the phrase, "I am such an asshole." I used to complain about my issue to Alex and he'd make fun of me like, "Ooooh, Mr. Dad, Mr. Dad, you're so cute I can't talk..." but then one day I pointed them out at school with a quivering finger and Alex was like, "Oh. yeah, ok. I get it now."
We ran into Hot Thing One on the street during our walk home from the emergency room at Hotel Dieu and he kindly asked me what my native language was. He asked it in such a strange, old-fashioned non-native French speaker kind of way, though, that I had no idea what he was saying so I just launched into a delightful tale of Lucien getting hit on the head with a wooden train. Hot Thing One stared at me, mystified, until suddenly Alex piped up behind me, "Umm...to answer your question, she speaks English."
Just yesterday, I saw Hot Thing Two at the grocery store. Lucien's on vacation from school and I'd gotten a babysitter for the morning so I could get some stuff done. I saw her there in the aisle and almost turned around to run away but decided enough is enough; I must confront this.
I brazenly walked right up to her and said hello. She said hello and then asked if Lucien was at school? I was silent for an uncomfortably long time then asked, "Wait, school? Aren't they on vacation? It's still vacation, right? I have two hands! Pirates!"
She said slowly that she meant the centre de loisirs, which is a program for kids during all vacation periods, held at the schools. Of course. I knew that. Everybody knows that. I am an asshole. I then proceeded to stand there silently for an awkward period of time trying to think of ways to explain my stupidity until she said, "Well, have a good day then!" and walked away.
I guess this is just the way it's going to be. It's been well over a year and I just can't make it work so should probably surrender. They still try to talk to me but I'm pretty sure it's out of morbid curiosity now. They just have to know what ridiculous thing that strange woman is going to say next.
As I mentioned, Lucien's on vacation from school. He hasn't permitted me to sit down at the computer for more than five seconds without sticking his little face in front of mine and saying something like, "MOMMY LET'S PLAY TANKS LET'S DO REAL BIG FIGHTING!" It's hard to resist his big grin and mouth covered in whatever chocolate something he pilfered while I was off changing Camille's diaper. I always get up from the computer to fight him and I always win because I'm way bigger.
These vacation days are full of demands for parks, demands for snacks, demands for fighting with swords he cut out of my expensive photo paper. He rarely demands I write the blog so that's the reason for the upcoming radio silence.
I'm not complaining. I feel immense affection with a tinge of hysterical clinginess when it comes to the kids these days. I'm overwhelmed with the changes I've seen in Lucien in just the past handful of months. My crazy little boy is growing and changing into a mellow(er), well-behaved big boy and I can't believe how unhappy I am about it. Isn't this what I wanted? Being mama to this boy is a curiously confusing business.
We went to the Luxembourg Gardens over the weekend. It was a beautiful autumn day and the air was just slightly chilly and smelled like leaves. There were many, many groups of people doing tai-chi. Some of them were doing something that looked like angry tai-chi because they had real swords. Give your opinion in my quick poll -- "If a group of people were swinging around swords in a public park in the States, how long would it take for them to be shot?" a.) one second b.) 1.1 seconds c.) is zero seconds possible? Oh, this is delightful. Everyone loves a fun poll!
beautiful autumn non-sword tai chi
Shuffling through the leaves, I had the thought that if I could freeze the moment in time, I would. I love where my kids are in their lives. I love where Al is, all shaggy and cute, in his life. I love where I am in my life except I wish I could whistle and break my habit of buying really cool clothes that look terrible on me. I love autumn, especially in Paris and especially at the Luxembourg.
Ms. Cokes is not in agreement with Daddy's baby placement
We grabbed some galettes de sarrasin, buckwheat crepes, to take home for lunch. There's something wonderful about watching a man fix a hot galette on a Paris street on a crisp, cool fall day.
The knowledge that this is our last autumn in Paris is making me weepy. We're eventually going to come to the end of something spectacular and I don't know how I'll ever say goodbye. Alex is probably going to have to drug me and throw me on the plane. Then I'll wake up in Seattle with our friends standing over me and I'll be like, "Auntie K, but it wasn't a dream! You were there, too, and you and you, our weird friend dressed like a scarecrow! What strange friends we have!"
Now I'm going to go sit on the couch and look at the kids and my Al, for I know they'll start bugging the hell out of me again tomorrow and the moment will pass. But for now, it's MINE.
mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine
Al, I would still choose you over Hot Thing One. (and not just because I can't talk to him and he thinks I'm crazy.)