Remember when The Tall Blonde left for France and I actually had to leave the comforts of my home to take her there?
I wrote about what to do just in case the plane dropped from the sky or I got the Avion Flu (get it…plane flu…in French!)
Anyway…then I got there…and I actually wrote a post En Francais. Then wrote another about how I was absolutely awestruck even though Paris wasn’t my thing.
And then, I left her…my Belle…in a little town, a quiet village. Where every day was like the one before. A little town full of lovely people, waking up every morning to say…Bonjour.
I left her. I fell apart in Heathrow Airport while Crazy and Fancy put me together. Me…listing each and every thing I forgot to mention. Them…assuring me she’d be just fine.
That was a year ago.
And now, while she’s travelled through Europe and visited places I can only imagine…as I’ve seen one photo after the next of amazing places, wonderful people, happy times. While she’s met lifelong friends, experienced a new culture, seen and done and played and laughed through the most beautiful moments as only she could.
And this week, she comes home…changed.
I’m overwhelmingly aware that The Tall Blonde will have a difficult time leaving this place she adores. That she’s not quite ready to end the adventure and that our little city doesn’t quite have the pull of the exotic places she’s been.
While I can’t offer her Pastries and Macarons from her favorite Boulangerie just moments from her door…I can introduce her to a local restaurant, Le French Fix, where they make them just right.
While Annie, Adrien, Matthieu, Maelle, Etienne, Garrett, Tess, Adair, Sophia, Michelle and Lindsay…to name just a few…won’t be here. Fetus, Messy, Jacqueline, Mare, Christina, Morgan, Patrick, Jane, Emily, Brendan and Alex…to name a few…will.
While she leaves behind a wonderful “host family” who took her in…there’s a huge amount of relatives who will welcome her back.
While I can’t offer the castles, the travel and adventure of Europe…there’s the sea, the lighthouses, the salt in the air. Where I can’t give her Kayla, the very best roommate anyone could have ever dreamt of…I can offer myself, Spiderman and Bones…as a pretty close second. Where she says good-bye to Olly…Zucchini will warm her heart. Where she leaves her favorite Soufflerrie…her favorite pub is here.
I know how difficult it will be to leave this adventure. To pack her bags, grab her guitar and lock the door of her apartment for the very last time but It’s my hope…that this year abroad…has opened her eyes to all of the possibilities before her.
Knowing…that no matter how far she travels, who she meets or what she discovers…that there’s always this place to come home.
Where the warmest embrace awaits her.
This made me smile 🙂 Excited to see my dearest friend, but sad for her to have to leave. Perfectly articulated how I feel.
This is lovely thank you. My wife and I are planning on hosting exchange students starting this Fall this is a nice reminder of how important the people w are hosting are
Made me tear up. You are a wonderful mother for allowing her this amazing experience. Thank you for giving the rest of us the courage to try as well.
oh i’m so excited for you! I remember the french post (it was fabulous!) and it doesn’t really feel like a whole year has gone by since you wrote it!
she will find new adventures 🙂