What an amazing journey this has been. From the moment this was a possibility to changing our entire lives, to experiencing this country, to now preparing our adventure home.
Andrew- he is doing AWESOME! Happy as a clam, as they say. Friends have welcomed him with open arms and lots of food. From our dear friends, Marilyn and Drew, dropping him off groceries upon his arrival to lunch dates, dinner dates, bottles of wine, people randomly stopping by his office to welcome him back. I am so happy for him as his time, working in France, was incredibly difficult. The job itself yes but AK is damn smart and knows how to get his stuff done but more so the working culture. For 21 months he did his best, accomplished so much and made all of us proud.
Lauren – this girl continues to amaze me. She did so well this year. She ended the school year well and had to do an end of the school Exhibition project, which she designed a vertical garden, for her school. She did all the research and had amazing support at ISP. I can’t thank principal Kate and Jackie enough for all of the time they spent with her to make this happen. It was a huge learning curve for her. When planning something or having a vision doesn’t always mean it’s going to happen the way you hoped. But you learn and overcome challenges but also figuring out other ways to get things done.
Outside of school, she manages to find joy in gaming, relaxing and just being with family. She has her end of the year piano recital on Sunday and has grown so much this year with her ability to play more challenging pieces. So happy for her.
She is excited to go home but also sad as the school she is leaving is pretty freakin amazing! She has had some of the best teachers and I mean all of them. She has learned so much and has grown. ISP has purchased a new middle school campus, everything is state of the art, technology included and she will not be a part of that. Plus she will not be able to continue the MYP program because there are only a couple of schools, in Washington, that offer this program and know where near our house. Having said all of that, she is also excited about starting a new school and moving back to a familiar place.
Morgan – what a year. Started off on a bad way but Morgan continues to mature and grow as a young lady. She has faced many obstacles in her personal life and continues to press on, learn from her mistakes as well as others hurtful behavior and is and continues to blossom into a really cool kid. We enjoy hanging out with her and living life with her.
She has mixed emotions about our return to the states but understands that the IB program is the way to go and she will be able to continue that, for free!!! You pay for the neighborhood and house but the program is free. It’s offered at our local high school and she can join her 11th and 12th grade years. Next year, 10th grade she will take all AP classes to prepare herself for the IB program as it will be tough. I am proud of her for wanting this and understanding the value and the impact it will have in her life.
She just took the ABRSM singing exam and we are awaiting the results. Hopefully, next week we will know if she passed. It was a lot of work but her singing teacher is AMAZING and knows just how to push her and has changed the way she now thinks about music. It’s been an extraordinary time in her life.
She will spend the month of July spending with her lifelong friends and making memories. They have an amazing weekend planned, full of fun and adventures. I am grateful for the relationships she has built here. I say “she has built here” because I do not social engineer her life. She needs to build her own community and learn how to choose friends. I am proud of the friends she has as they are all different and amazing.
Courtland – he has also grown so much. He loves his friends, Pokémon, his French spinners, have no idea how to spell it. Everyday, I take the boys to the neighborhood park, after school, and everyday Court gets in there, speaking French and trading his Pokémon and making friends. It is incredible to see him. There are really no words to describe the gratefulness I feel and have for these past two years, especially for the boys.
He misses his Dad and is sad to leave all his friends here. I agree. However, we just bought our forever home and have a lot of space for the kids to play, build a tree house any many other fun things. Plus, I promised him a car bed for his bedroom :).
Elijah – what a journey it has been for him both emotionally and academically. I am in awe of this kid. His ability to understand things, at age 5, is a gift. He gets frustrated at school sometimes but I have to remind him he is in class with 6 and 7 year olds and he is doing it! His writing is better than most adults and his understanding of math is impressive. He too, loves his Pokémon but not to the extent Court does. Eli likes to play, he is rough and tough and never complains when he is treated unfairly. When we go to the park and kids are acting unkind, I watch him, he usually removes himself from the situation, waits a few minutes, then tries again. Every once in a while, I do have too step in as the aggressive behavior here, is something I’ve never experienced in children before. They are rude and disrespectful to adults as well.
The boys together- you know how some boys are quiet, like to play alone, read books, etc. Yeah, well, I don’t have those kinds of boys. Mine are loud, full of life, love to talk, play hard, risk takers and love everything and anything that goes fast. They have beautiful hearts but good gravy they are a lot to keep up with.
Me, I LOVE my life here as well as the life I built in Washington. I will leave this amazing place wanting more and I think that is a way to leave. I don’t have any regrets, even with people that I don’t agree with and or see eye to eye with because every experience is an opportunity to grow, mature and evolve. Thankfully there have not been many people like this here or in my life in general.
I’ve been busy helping plan the 5th grade promotion party. It has been a lot of work but thankfully the women who are on the committee are incredible and I am thankful for each of them.
I am trying to be thoughtful on how I want to spend my last days here in Paris. I am going to restaurants I’ve always wanted to go to. I have a few museums and exhibitions I still want to see and a few stairs to climb. Like the Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. Not sure why I have a desire other than the view that awaits me.
I also want to have a few more picnics in the park and watch the kids play while I drink a glass of wine and share these remaining moments with my Paris family.
I to am worried about the move home as I feel different. Not better than, just different. I’ve had this time to really reflect on my life, what I’ve done, what I want to do and how I am going to get there.
Now, I am in the process of being reimbursed for our many and I mean many Dr bills, here in France. Enough to buy a car.
I am also trying to sell all of our furniture, which is interesting.
I know it will all come together but I am running out of time.
That’s it for now, until next time!