Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tout ou rien

(Pronounced “toot ooh ree-(y)in. Now roll it all together and mumble a bit. Yes, that’s very Frenchy.) It means all or nothing. Feast or famine. No more is this true than my region of France, the North-Pas de Calais. You’ll often here locals (and complaining expats) use this expression about the weather here. As in, it’s either gray and cold and drizzly, or blazing hot with no breeze. That’s been the pattern of our spring here. We just never know if we can really put up those sweaters and coats and break out the summery stuff. Actually, most of this week has been pretty picture perfect, sunny, warm, but not too stifling.

This expression also describes the lulls and busy periods of my life. There are times of the year I complain about the lack of work. Then spring rolls around and things get busier. More classes means more prep and less time for cleaning and wasting time/blogging. I find myself experiencing what full-time working moms go through all year. The impression of not spending much time with my little one and having to cram chores and cooking into the evening hours.

It’s all made worse by Remi’s spring schedule. Whereas some winter days he piddles in the greenhouse and comes home at 5 p.m., lately he works all-day, often into the night. Sometimes Juliette doesn’t see him at all these days, and I see him very little. I’m not exaggerating when I say I feel like a single mom these days.

Spring sure brings out the best and worst in our family. I love all the flowers in bloom and making up my own window boxes. But I hate how much Remi and his family work. And frankly I can’t help out much at all chasing Miss I Put My Hands Everywhere. We spend every Sunday there so at least Juliette sees her dad a little.

The days are so long this time of year, still light at 10 p.m. and I feel kind of buzzy, watering my flowers or doing little chores later into the evening. I find it hard to fall asleep though I know I’m tired. What a change from winters here when it’s dark till 8 or 8:30 a.m. and then again at 4:30 p.m.

And whereas in January I was happy to stay inside after work and huddle up, now I put JuJu in her stroller and run errands until 7 p.m. Any excuse is good for getting out in the sunshine. And to end on another quote, this time by the Beatles, “tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.”


Lindle said...

I think this cycle of extreme activity and inactivity is just a facet of nature. When the seeds sprout, and the new leaves unfurl, nature goes to work. We become inspired, more energetic, waking from our winter sluggishness. Supposedly, all that resting and hibernating in winter was meant to recover from the activity of spring and summer...a time to plan and reflect. You just wish sometimes it could have a more comfortable pace, huh?

H.R said...

Men are always men :) and women are always women when they keep nagging