Four years later, we have arrived back in France. We had been talking about returning to France before we had packed a single suitcase for our journey back to Canada. Yet, it seemed for months before the trip, I was nervous and anxious about leaving Canada. Uncertain if we were making the right choice; nervous to start such a long journey with a not-very social partner, a very social 7 year old, and a never-sit still 2 year old.
Wouldn't it just be easier to send the partner to his office, the school aged kid to school and the toddler outside? What on earth are we thinking of taking this circus on the road? And in multiple airplanes at that?
Well, sure, it would be easier to do that. But as my friends and family reminded me, of course, yes they will miss us, but this is an opportunity. Walk through the open door before roots become too deep. Before the big gets so big she wants nothing to do with us and our wandering ways. Go now before the toddler gets so big it's time for him to settle in to school. Go now while we can! And so we did. For the third time in six years, (well writing that out is an eye opener!) we packed up what we would need for a year, sold most of it and stored the rest of it.
After a hellofa long journey - three airplanes, many many many layover hours wandering around exhausted in airports and a final cab ride - we arrived. It was 10pm France time. There was a wicked storm rolling in, cooling the air and bringing in the smell of the Atlantic. As we wound through the city of Biarritz in the 20 minute cab ride to Bayonne, feeling dirty, sticky and covered in stress sweat from Raph's final most epic MOST embarrassing screaming, flailing, head butting melt down at the airport, I actually started to relax. The air cooled my face. I rubbed my arm where he had bit me, a bruise starting the show, and hoped that the owners of our first rental had left a bottle of rosé in the fridge.
By the time we arrived, Raph had nodded off into a deep jet lag sleep. I picked him up and plopped him onto the bed where he stretched out on his back, stuffing his little hands behind his head. After a quick intro to our host and a tour of the apartment, she opened up the fridge to show us a gloriously chilled bottle of rosé. I felt a second (or possibly third... fourth?) wind, excited and eager for that first glass. Excited to be here. Before I popped open the cork, I pulled out three glasses. Diaz said, "Mom what are you doing?" I poured her the teensiest of sips and we cheers'ed and sipped the end of our long cross-continent journey.