As I walked the kids to school this morning L says, “Shouldn’t people decorate for Remembrance day before Christmas?” I explained to her that most people don’t really “decorate” for the occasion that in fact it’s quite a somber occasion. This one comment preceded my commentary on having seen a car the day before adorned as though it were Rudolf with antlers from the side windows and a red nose on the grill. Her face scrunched up like she’d just seen something offensive and really, I don’t blame her, I couldn’t agree more.
In the moment that I saw this festive car in the upscale neighborhood of Morgan Creek I though to myself, “It’s true… I’m definitely living in the wrong culture.”
As I stood around the kitchen tonight laughing with Jay and Bev after their night about. We laughed about funny things that kids say without realizing they’ve said something horribly inappropriate. They told me about some funny misunderstanding in a French film they watched the other night I realized how easy it has been to settle in here but also how that leaves me in this present time and just how exciting the next leg will be when it comes.
Truly I’ve been learning a lot this week about how to fit in with a family; lessons in how to remain autonomous while also being a member of the whole. I’ve had to have more open hands about my time, cooking and dealing with kids, who are lovely, by the way! I hope that when I leave they’ll remember this time fondly and hopefully I have been able to add something to the way they live life rather than being a burden. I wonder how I might be viewed as a house guest or a friend but one thing I know for sure is that I laugh a lot. I laugh because funny things happen, or Jay walks in the room with his daily growing mustache, or because my socks slipped from underneath me on the hardwood as I leaned on the kitchen counter, nearly bailing in some scene that just NEEDS to be captured in the memory of your friends for all the campfires you’ll have in the years to come.
But then France… It always comes back to France… I wonder what kind of nomads will be attracted to the two locations I’ll be working at. I wonder if it’ll be a French lifestyle beyond the language at all? Surely I’ll be on my bicycle lapping up the lifestyle and hopefully I’ll pack the occasional basket with a bottle of wine, some olives and head out to meet new friends amongst the old ruins of Arles and perhaps I’ll tumble off my bike onto the grass so I have another story to share around the campfire of a time where I was so excited, so nervous, so full of hope, so full of life that it spilled to overflowing in the form of me tumbling off my bike in a fit of laughter.