The alternate, albeit less interesting, title is: Summer Days.
If you are even remotely familiar with Paris, you will know that La Seine (pronounced La Senn) is the river that runs through Paris and continues on to its outlying suburbs. Les seins (pronounced lay seh, with an eh that sounds like you’re shrugging your shoulders and saying it’s just okay) is a word that means breasts or chest or boobs – that sort of thing.
Yesterday I started the day by taking a walk along the Seine. It was so beautiful, as it always is, that I wished I had had a camera with me to capture everything. Of course – that would completely defeat the purpose of walking along the Seine in order to decompress, to clear my mind, to dream, and to let my spirit float into the heavens.
I left the hot, sunny, open area to walk on the shady path that winds along the branches of the sturdy old weeping willows. On my left I saw two swans poised regally on the river, their heads turned in slightly different angles to give the most illustrious pose.
I continued on, staring up at the manors on the hill – their eaves covered in leafy vines, their shutters clothed in flaking white paint, and looking dignified just the same. I walked along in my sleeveless shirt, swinging my arms, insouciant to how I looked. I was happy to be walking there with my exposed arms, happy to not care.
On the way back, I was surprised to see someone water-skiing on the Seine! Ouf! They just took a spill. Got a nice drink of lake water, which is about as sanitary as that charity swimming race that occurs (occurred?) on the Hudson River back in NY. I think you had to swim a mile in it, which is something like 88 laps. That’s a healthy dose of Hudson River water with all those oily waves.
I was curious as to how the swans would react to the motor boat, but the motor boat, after picking up its fallen duckling, retreated back to where it came from. The swans weren’t taking any chances, nevertheless. They swam diagonally across the river, any effort in movement betrayed only by the ripple in the shape of a “V” behind them.
This tree may not be as pretty as the cherry tree I thought to replace it with, but it sure does have tasty fruit.
Then I wandered over to peek at the wild flowers, and decided that although I don’t like this long purple one (I inadvertently called it a weed) -I like the crickets and butterflies and bees that come to visit.
My Alistair would have been one month old right now, and I would not be going to the BlogHer conference in New York this week. Some people want to change the subject right away when I tell them we planted the tree for the baby I lost. But I still say it anyway.
I’m not sure which it is since I planted both, and I don’t know which came up.
I always thought we lived on the French-equivalent of Wisteria Lane, and in a couple of years we’ll fit right in.
I left home at the age of eighteen to go to college and I haven’t stopped moving since, until three years ago.
After 24 years (and 11 international moves), I finally feel rooted where I am. I don’t want to move again. I can see myself having a similar summer day ten years from now, even fifty years from now. Well – assuming I could still walk. It’s like it could keep rolling along just the same in this lazy happy life of mine.
We stayed up until 2AM last night watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and may I say – great job London!
I hope my children finally understand that they are not half-French / half-British, but will rather understand that they are half-American. Huge distinction here folks. (Not that I have anything against the Brits – my family came over on the pilgrim boats, leaving my ancestral roots there).
But I must be settling into my new country, because I felt just as proud of the French as I did of the Americans when they all paraded in. The French channel kept showing Tony Parker getting inundated by autograph and photograph requests. Even Olympic Athletes get star-struck.
We had a relaxing Saturday today and went swimming as a family. It felt so good to do laps, and I managed to impress my husband with my butterfly stroke – for the 10 meters I was able to pull it off. And I was surprised to see the progress the children have made in their own swimming. Young Lady is able to do the butterfly kick, even if the arms are yet to come. Petit Prince is intrepid – he doesn’t notice or care whether or not he is able to stand in the water, or the fact that he cannot swim. And Young Knight just wants to swim well, just like he wants to do everything well. We have an uninterrupted stream of three excited children calling out to us to look!
Afterwards we change to go home – Young Lady and Young Knight in the first stall, Petit Prince and I in the middle one, and Sir over in the third. I pull off my suit and hear this little three-year old voice pipe up, “Regardes ton ventre Maman – c’est super gros!”
Gros(se) in French actually means huge. What he was saying was, “Look at your belly mommy – it’s super huge.” Except he wasn’t referring to my belly. For once.
I hear Young Lady’s voice in the stall next door. ”Il parle de tes seins Maman?” (He’s talking about your breasts mommy?)
“Um … I don’t think I can change in front of this guy anymore,” I call out to the loud giggles of the rest of the family.
Oh, I suppose there are some things in these lazy summer days that will change.