Friday, October 29, 2010


It's been a nice week here at the B&B. Had time to enjoy some easy vacation days with the kids, the aforementioned doctors' appointments, a day schlepping the tribe along while on a work related buying spree with a co-worker, a good lunch with a good friend, and a home cooked meal made for us by people I can bitch to in English.

Makes dealing with strike action, new job stress, dog poop, and fighting children almost seem like nothing at all.

The nicest part of this week has been that I've had a bit of music stuck in my head that has made the sun shine a little brighter and the worries a little easier to deal with. The Man played it for me last weekend and somewhere along the way, all the memories I had of this song from years ago have now been wrapped up with an optimism for the future that I'm so glad to have in my hands and heart.

My plan is to play this song over and over again and enjoy the now to it's fullest. You do the same.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lost Miles

I can't run.

I stare at my shoes, both pairs that I bought this summer in the States, and I feel sorry for them. 

My trail shoes are lightly covered in mud from my last run, a 3 1/2 hour jaunt back in September through the fields and trails between the village on the hill and the ruins of a chateau about 8 kilometers from here. Since that day, they sit next to the front door, waiting.

My road shoes went with me when I went to Paris. I had loved the idea of running along the Seine or through the Jardin du Tuileries. But in the end, they only served to confirm my 'Americanness' as I walked around the city after my classes. 

I can't run.

And I'd be lying if I said I missed it. 

How that scares me. 

Here was something I did as a constant, something that I depended on to clear my head and keep me sane, and now...

I can't run.

Someone once asked me, "what are you running from?" I laughed and tried to explain. 

But now, I'm wondering exactly that. 

What was I running from?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Last Day

The kids start their October break this afternoon and I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it. We've got some plans to play with friends, several necessary doctors appointments, and hopefully the chance to hang in our pjs till noon and eat popcorn while watching "Surf's Up," the latest and greatest tribe favourite.

It's also dawned on me this afternoon that I'm currently in the last couple of hours of my existence as a stay-at-home-mom.

Boy, that sounds weird.

I only pray that by some miracle my organizational skills become fabulous over this vacation because if not, the lack of matching socks is going to take a serious turn for the worse.

Oh my GOD. I'm going back to work.

Somebody, hold me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


There have been other times in my life when I've felt as exhausted as I do now but usually that was due to some small person making their entrance into this world. I swear, I could lay down right now, rest my head on the keyboard and easily wake up hours later with a nice imprint of the letter "r" crushed into my cheek. "It's a freckle, I swear....."

I'm not sleeping well on one hand because Rosie has decided that sleeping through the night is just so yesterday's news. I don't know if it's her teeth or that she hates being stuffed into a sleeping bag to go night-nites, but she's taken to wailing in her sleep, loudly, several times a night. I've been bounding down the stairs in the dark, going into her and rubbing her little fuzzy head each time, and just as I'm about to leave & close the bedroom door, she starts howling again.

Last night, I took teeny tiny steps across the room to try and reach the door before she knew I was gone, but I got busted as I turned the handle. Once I finally did get her settled for good, I had the wonderful joy of hearing Typhon picking up right where she left off.

I'm also exhausted because I am stressing about going back to work after 10 years of being at home in sweatpants. All of the sudden, I'm needing to actually shower every morning and, not only that,  needing to find clothes that match AND that don't smell like huskies or poop. Not an easy task when I've decided to become completely French and go on a full fledged strike against the washing machine.

I'm exhausted because I'm still on an emotional roller coaster that started a month ago today. I see things clearer now than I did then. I feel better about most things now than I did then. I actually feel that I might be able to find some positives out of a really shitty situation.

But then, all of a sudden in the car, or at night when I'm on the dark stairs listening to Rosie, or when I get a text message from The Man, or when I'm just picking up toys, or putting dishes in the dishwasher, or reading something about the strikes, or I hear a name, or I get a hug from a friend, I go there. That place where my heart exploded into a million pieces and where my life, as I naively loved it, ended.

I'm exhausted because I love. Because I haven't stopped loving. Because I'm in a place where my heart is trying to glue itself back together and carry everyone with it. It's a hard choice The Man and I have made and happy as we both seem about things, it's going to take a long time before anything feels like normal again. This is now life as we live it. Cautiously, humbly, not taking anything for granted.

This life, made up of our lives, that are a whirlwind of shattered pieces, new jobs, children who need reassurances that everything is going to be ok, dog fur, and a teething baby, is exhausting.

And I'm not ready for it to naively end.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And Just What Does One Say To That?

I dropped Bubba-Love and The Princess off at school today so I could head into town for a morning meeting with my co-workers. As we walked up the stairs to his classroom, I explained to Bubba-Love how someone else would be looking after him this morning since the teachers were on strike. Again.

He stopped on the last step and looked at me with that serious look only a 4.5 year old can give when confronted with the complexities of strike action in France...

"Mom," he said, "if she doesn't like teaching school that much, why doesn't she just get another job?"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Week in Paris

I apologize for the silence. Seems the gods or God had found a way to move me out of the world I was swimming in and onto something else entirely.

I had a window open, as it were.

I got a job.

And the nicest part about this job is that I needed to get some training. In Paris. For a week.

It was good for my soul, my soles, and everyone. The tribe has missed me. The Man has missed me and, believe it or not, I missed me.

After the days' training sessions, I wandered Paris. Into museums, churches, stores, restaurants, and parts of that wonderful city I didn't know before. I got lost, I got found, I got blisters, I got my hair done, I got time.

I'm home now and I am beyond happy to be here. The children are crying, the floors need to be cleaned and my Man has made me coffee.

There's work to be done.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


It's a warning that's on every box of matches and every bottle of lighter fluid. A simple statement of fact that fails to nail down just how horrible the consequences can be.

Carelessness causes not just fire, but pain and destruction. Carelessness ruins things one takes for granted, like a solid structure of a home or the confidence of a loved one.

Carelessness causes fire in places where the ill fated winds decided to carry it. Even with it's warning so cleary written on the outside, people who decided not to read the label closely will be burned.

Carelessness causes fire. Only by smothering that lack of attention, that lack of thought, it's the only hope we have in not ruining everything around us.





Thursday, October 7, 2010


We talk, The Man and I, like we haven't in years. I hear him laugh right from his heart and I cry because I have no idea how long it's been since I last heard him do that. I cry because I can't believe I didn't realize how long he'd been gone.

He brought me coffee in bed this morning and we just sat next to each other in silence. I studied his face, his eye lashes, his nose...the familiarity and strangeness of him all at once. We've said so much already these last weeks that in this little bit of calm, we could almost hear our feelings echoing between us.

We finished our coffee slowly, neither one of us really wanting to get up and get on with the day. Both of us tired, clinging to just a few more minutes there, in that place, together.

There are so many hours till I can talk with him again and the battle between my head and heart is ugly.

Monday, October 4, 2010

On Being Lost

We loaded the kids into the bateau de route yesterday and just drove. Both The Man and I needed to get away from these walls, this place, and all the emotions that we've been trying to deal with. So with a packet of biscuits and some bottles of water, the six of us ran away.

We took random turns, through random villages, amazed that in the 6 years we've lived in the little village on the hill, we had never gone those ways before. It was if our route was matching that of our souls: a little lost, a little confused, but with a rough idea of where we were.

Somehow we found ourselves at the start of a small trail with some picnic tables overlooking the plains below. We all piled out of car, had a snack and listened as the wind howled around us, cracking dry brittle tree limbs that were waving above us. We decided to follow the trail for a bit, the kids running ahead, The Man and I next to each other, walking wounded, as it were.

The trail split and without thinking, I recalled out loud a Robert Frost quote from my childhood, one that hung on a giant banner in the front hallway of my elementary school:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So that's what we did.

We found ourselves tumbling out into a high meadow, just us and the wind. The Man and I lay down and as we held each other's hands, our love & our life, in the forms of our children, ran and climbed all over us.