Friday, October 02, 2009


Finally we succumb to Le Hippopotamus. A restaurant in Paris renowned for being family friendly - complete with balloons. I avoided it like the plague.

But having checked 9 bags all over the weight limit without even a bat of an eye from the Lufthansa check-in guy and in typical SJ fashion he decided to push his luck and ask to check a 10th. Pas de problem says the man and takes SJ's carry-on that he didn't need, slapped a tag on it and tossed it down the conveyor belt. So after all that, we decided to have a sit-down lunch and the only option was Le Hippo. Burgers for everyone except maman who had her last chevre chaud. A green salad with a piece of toast holding warm chevre cheese.

When the boys excused themselves to use the loo before the food and wine arrived, I get a chance to talk to my very quiet daughter. She is drawing on the back of a receipt. I ask her what she is drawing and she replies that it is a picture of people sleeping in China. China for us is a very sad subject and only comes up when someone is feeling volny. What is volny I hear you ask? it is a bridge between the words vulnerable and lonely a few of us made up on a study abroad program in Florence while in college. Anyway, as she sat there concentrating a little too hard on a simple drawing on the back of a receipt I asked her if she knew what melancholy meant. She shook her head. I explained that it was a feeling of sadness that envelops you without making you feel like you need to cry. She looked up at me with bright eyes and said "yes, that's me right now. You are the crying sad." Now if you know me in person you probably are chuckling to yourself as you read this. I am a weeper. Waterworks, I am. Nevertheless, France, Paris, Pezenas, le TGV, le Thalys, London, Monceau, Bastille, Notre Dame, Le Tour Eiffel have all left an indelible mark on my baby girl and her melancholy is my pride. I hope to have set the stage for a wonderful life of exploration for my children and for that I would do anything. Even come home.

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