September 16, 2016
Life is sweet.
Life is sweet so far. A simple reduction, but very true. Focused on small moments of breathing in cloud formations and hanging laundry to dry outside. Girls running in the gravel and through our field of dandelions (blowing wishes). I just sort of feel like I keep waking up in a very good dream.
Plus Marguerite comes every other weekend. Such a dream for us all!
School has been challenging. I was bracing for it (obviously). I've mentally devoted the month of September to adjusting. It is going to take at least that long. Colette won't eat at the cantine (lunchroom) and has decided that she definitely wants to move back to NYC.
Morning before school:
Colette: "I don't want to go back to school. I don't like the bathrooms. They are really small walls and I don't know how to flush. I'm not going. In this school we just do numbers and do parcours and the cantine which takes a really long time and drawing and then to the bathroom - with toilets I don't even know how to flush. I miss my other school."
Me: "What did you like about your other school?"
Colette: "I liked the games and stories and toilets I knew how to flush."
(So, Xavier took her to school and pushed through the classroom of children to walk Colette to the bathrooms to check it out and practice flushing together. The details you don't think will matter that much!)
I will say Romy has been much more flexible. She goes with the flow. I was a bit worried recently when picking her up from the garderie however. When we pick her up we get a report of the day. They have a written account of what each child eats, how long they sleep, anything irregular. This particular afternoon, one of the women who works there wore a stern expression and I worried Romy had hit someone or maybe even something worse.
"She did not enjoy the cauliflower."
Internally I exhaled relief. Externally I winced and shrugged my shoulders a bit. "I am sure she will like it the next time."
She replied, "I hope so."
SO much respect for this culture where the 18 children with whom Romy plays, ages 0-3 years old, sit around a table for a snack and no one begins to eat the apple slices until each child has her put on her bib and has passed the plate around. We are in a tiny town in Provence. French culture is so deep rooted.
Colette was invited to a birthday party right out of the gate. I received the invitation and then a text with directions. It went something like: "Chemin du Moulard, house with the blue door - next to a field of sunflowers." Only here. Only in Provence is that a real address. Our house does not have a number either.
Xavier has already undertaken some major renovations. The kitchen. Totally transformed. He replaced two strange sinks with a nice big old basin. Required a circular saw and an inordinate amount of dust. The second time around (because the hole originally cut was 1 cm too small - beat him up. He is incredibly resilient - just kept going despite the amount of dust he inhaled) we created a cocoon for the dust. In the end, the sink is amazing.
I think I will never tire of exploring neighboring villages - churches, squares, markets, facades.
Choosing paint colors and letting the house come together bit by bit.