I will be gone for seven days. Not exactly off the grid. In Paris. I lived there for one of the best years of my life back in my twenties. Can’t believe its taken me EIGHTEEN years to get back. Time flies. Seriously.
I’m bringing my sweet nine-year-old Ben, who keeps asking me if I’m sure he will be able to find himself a black beret there, because he wants to wear it the whole time we’re there. “Because that’s what French people wear, right?”
I invested in Rosetta Stone thinking I’d brush up. That didn’t really happen. But Ben used it. He can speak some basic French now. That kid is really something.
It’s been long enough since I’ve been there that I’m thinking I’ll get that same feeling I got when I went back to my Dows Lane Elementary school as an adult. Everything looked so small. Reassuringly familiar but somehow, at the same time, mind-bendingly different. My brain gets a cramp trying to process the passage of time in situations like this.
Already I’ve had that feeling just while looking at a map of the city. Really? I’d have sworn on my right arm that Les Invalides, (whose golden dome houses Napoleon’s tomb, the glint of which you can see from almost anywhere you find yourself), was on the Right bank, well east of Notre Dame. Nope. My map tells me it’s Left bank, quite west. How can that be? All these years I’ve been carrying this picture of the city in my head that included the dome in the wrong place.
Wonder what else will surprise me.
Everything, I hope.