at least she didn’t say Pop Tarts

Today Kaitlyn and I played “what will you miss and what won’t you miss about France.” Kaitlyn doesn’t really talk much about moving in relation to France. She just talks about it in relation to living in America. Getting a dog (this is high on her list). How she wants to decorate her room (beach themed). How she wants to live close enough to school to roller skate there each morning (I’d like to see that last more than a day). Shopping at Target.

First, I asked Kaitlyn to just name five things she’ll miss. She named the Eiffel Tower then four of her friends. I’m not sure what to think of the fact that the Eiffel Tower topped her list, but it did. She seemed pretty satisfied with that list. Game over. So I offered up something I’ll miss then something I won’t. My deep observation went something like: “I’ll miss being able to go skiing for the day, but I won’t miss driving down our road that is too narrow for two cars to easily pass.” That was enough to get her started.

Now I know that Kaitlyn will miss eclairs. She really, really likes them. (But, she is looking forward to eating cinnamon rolls.) She will miss her school. But she won’t miss the library they walk to. She’ll miss snowboarding (I assured her she can take more lessons in the US, but it won’t be as easy as here). She’ll miss the park with the carousel. Our doctor. The steak hache. She had a hard time believing me when I said I predict she’ll miss the lunches served at the school canteen. The days of four course leisurely meals are drawing to a close for her. She finally said maybe I’m right. She won’t miss our house. Or our town, although I’m not sure why.

I admit I will miss the food, but not all of it. I will miss the roasted duck, the fresh vegetables prepared so well, the cafe gourmand, the fresh bread (even if it doesn’t last overnight). I will not so much miss snails, worrying that I’m going to accidentally buy horse meat instead of cow meat, goat cheese slathered on everything under the sun, or beef that’s so tough cutting it with a sharp knife is nearly impossible. (I am yet to understand the new trend toward grass fed beef in the US. I’ll have to try it to see if it’s really any good, because the grass fed beef here is horrible. Unless it’s a baby. The veal is great.) I will miss our butcher. Not only because he is cute, but because he is nice and helpful and his food is good.

I will miss the view of the mountains, when I’m not at home. I won’t miss driving off the mountain to go anywhere other than Kaitlyn’s school or the pharmacy. I will miss the pharmacists who seem to really care and take time to help us out. I will not miss having to keep my own prescriptions around to have refilled (not always successfully). I will miss the satisfaction when I tackle a task in French. I will not miss having to tackle tasks in French. I will not miss being apprehensive about answering my own phone, not understanding what’s said on the radio, feeling ripped off a lot of places just because I don’t speak the language well, and not knowing how to do the simplest of things (like take large trash to the dump… something I do need to figure out.)

I am looking forward to having a garbage disposal. Kaitlyn didn’t understand that one. I am looking forward to being able to go into any store and ask a question without practicing what I’m going to say the entire drive there. I am looking forward to being able to talk to Kaitlyn’s teacher without dragging a translator along. Heck, for that matter, I’m looking forward to understanding Kaitlyn’s homework. And to not trying to help her memorize poems. I’m looking forward to just being in the US. The Fourth of July. Sweet corn. I may even drag the family to the state fair this year.

Like Kaitlyn, I will miss my friends here. Being so far from everything you know forces you to let go of pride and learn to lean on others. To let them be your friend when they’re trying to. And I’ll miss that. Because sometimes we all probably need to do a little more leaning. And a little more holding each other up. No matter where we are.

One Response to “at least she didn’t say Pop Tarts”

  1. Julie says:

    Well said Mandy. We are looking forward to having our family much closer.

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