This week was one that I had dreaded since the day I set foot in paris.
The starting of school vacation.
It wasn’t the fact that I had to spend all day in and out with my girl for the whole week, but I feared not being able to occupy her the whole time. Of course the easy thing to do would be to stick her in front of a tv or an iPad all day but I knew that would be a horrible idea. My vision of this outcome:
Parents come home and ask what we did all day, and of course she’s naive and honest and tells them exactly what she did ( more like didn’t do) .. Didn’t sound like a good idea nor really that much fun.
Then the parents inform me that the grandmother who is 78 is coming to stay with us for the week. Oh! and she doesn’t speak any english, even better! At this point I was feeling pretty anxious to get the week over with and get back into a routine. Like I’ve mentioned, I find comfort with having a daily routine to follow and when things are changed it throws off my whole day, let alone days leading up to it.
I’m going to be completely honest and say I regret my thoughts that I had about this vacation because I’ve had one of the best weeks with Perrine so far this year. The grandmother was one of the nicest ladies I’ve met in my life. I’ve never seen someone care so much about the wellbeing of others, especially Perrine as shes her only granddaughter. I think I was more frightened with her being at the house with fact that she didn’t speak english but it turned out that we could carry conversations in french for hours.
Every morning we sit down and she drinks her large bowl of tea along with her sweet bread and jam and me with my coffee and yogurt, and we talk for at least an hour. It’s been so nice getting to know another part of this family I’ve become a part of. On her last morning there I asked her if she had any other children because I had been told Perrine was her only grandchild but was unsure if maybe there were uncles or aunts. The response that came from this question was not what I was expecting at all and broke my heart. She explained the story of how her other son had experienced a bike accident when her was only 12 years old and has been paralyzed since that unfortunate day. He now has to live in a center a couple hours away from her because she is unable to care for him herself. This really made me think of what this woman has had to endure in her life and yet she still seems to wake up each morning with a smile and continue on with the day.
The day’s consisted of lots of crafts and we even made a trip into Paris to the movies for the first time. I give credit to this grandmother for being so agile for her age. She cooked every single meal and cleaned up afterwards, walked 40 mins to the library twice throughout the week and was still able to find energy to play with her granddaughter. In all, I think that this week and having spent so much time with the two of them has helped strengthen our relationship for the better.
I decided to stay for the weekend with he family even though I technically wasn’t working. Saturday morning started like any other weekend with pancakes and canadian maple syrup of course. Then we played board games as a family and even tried to teach the grandmother a bit of english which was entertaining to say the least. After dropping grandma off at her train the four of us headed for lunch to no other place than Joe Allen’s! I love how the family accommodates to what I enjoy and where I like to eat. After a wonderful meal and service from none other than the owner who I know from home in Nova Scotia (it really is a small world) we headed to a theatre showing by Theatre de la ville. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it ended up being pretty funny, especially now that I can understand french a heck of a lot better than when I arrived.
In all, I had a wonderful week with a beautiful woman and a toothless little girl and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’m actually looking forward to the next vacation in February when the grandmother will return and we can do it all over again.