Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Ode to spring
We’re taking full advantage of spring-like (or should I say summer) weather here this week. The trees are finally starting to bud. I had an ethereal moment walking under an avenue of pink-blossomed cherry trees last week. The pale pink petals were falling around me like snow flakes and I couldn’t resist scooping up a handful from the piles on the ground to let them flutter down again.
This afternoon I walked into town with baby facing front in her stroller, to better enjoy the warm air and lovely sights. We were both decked out in floppy hats and sunscreen. At the train station I got our carte enfant famille, a new system whereby those with modest incomes (as they like to put it here) and at least one child, can benefit from some train discounts. Sometimes it pays to be poor (at least in France). I went ahead and made our reservations for going to Paris next week for baby’s passport. Our little Franco-American will finally start the process of having a US passport and even a social security card, should she want to live and work in the US one day.
As it was so lovely out, I gave baby her snack of applesauce and a yogurt on a bench in front of the station. Then we strolled to the optician’s to check out baby sunglasses. I forked out 31 euros for the maximum UV protection. Of course, JuJu mostly plays with them and they often are protecting her cheeks and not her eyes. But the pink head strap will ensure that they don’t end up on the sidewalk when I’m not looking.
And as it was approaching 80 degrees, I thought a little ice cream was in order. I looked at the usual bakeries that often have the mini-freezers on the sidewalks to entice passers-by, but couldn’t find any. Finally I spotted the famous sign for the yummy Cornetto cones. I asked the fresh-faced girl in the bakery if she had any strawberry ones left and she said only the chocolate flavor with brownie bits. That’ll have to do, I said cheerily. As she passed by, looking the picture of youthful beauty in her white top and apron, I checked out my own blotchy reflection in the shop’s mirror. Note to self: go on that make-over show, pronto. Anyway, ice cream cone in hand, we headed home at a leisurely pace in the sun.
In other news, dad’s French tour has come to an end. I dropped him off at the train station this morning. Now I’m in family withdrawal again, wondering how I ever survived without regular family contact over here, and if I can survive in the future. As I had been weepy at the station, I treated the sitter to more tears when I dropped baby off right afterwards. You’re sensitive, she said. She knows this now since I also teared up at the day care show a few weeks ago when baby was dressed up as a policewoman/girl/baby. Now what am I gonna do at the dozens of other school pageants, kindergarten, middle and high school graduation ceremonies? I better buy stock in Kleenex.
In the meantime I’ll squeeze baby tight and try to enjoy some nice moments while the sun graces us with its presence.