Here we are, folks, less than a week after the vacation ended with a 3 day weekend. Friday is another jour de férié – or holiday – this one to celebrate the day France declared victory over Germany in WWII. Frankly, I’m grateful. The kids have been jetlagged and so have I. I just can’t stop feeling so tired. They were all happy to return to school, which is good. Zander has been riding his bike back and forth for fun – unfortunately his tire keeps deflating – we may have to buy a new one since the patches aren’t holding. Callie is still just scared to bike – although she can do it. She is scared of most everything, I wish she was more bold and brave, a Zena or Pippi Longstocking type. Z and C both had birthday parties this weekend so I know they are making friends, but I haven’t figured out how to navigate inviting people over to play. If I ask, the parents usually say ‘another time’ and if I give the kids a more formal ‘invitation’ on paper they are usually ignored. It is very frustrating since the kids get sad their friends won’t come to play and they don’t always get along with the kids out front. Plus, in Zander’s case, he prefers one on one play to a large group. Zander has been doing pretty well and his teacher is happy with his schoolwork but he had a few major explosions this week and demolished his glasses (again). I feel so helpless to know how to handle his temper – he just loses it sometimes – it’s scary and I just get so pissed off when he ruins another 80 dollar pair of glasses. Then he wants me to spend the money to fix his bike… and I’m like, no way! (But on the other hand, biking is just about the only physical activity he enjoys – so is it really wise not to let him do it?)
But, here we are at another weekend. It was finally time to hike up to Montfaucon – the beautiful medieval ruin we have admired only from afar. We really had a great time. The wildflowers were amazing – they will get a separate blog, again. While we were wandering toward the castle, we passed a lot of beautiful fields. Most of them were empty but some had cows or sheep. We saw a farmer and her son confiscating 2 new calves from their mama – it was so sad to see these little ones being lifted up and put into the back of a truck. They resisted a bit at first but then just sort of flopped down and didn’t resist at all. The mom cow just sort of stood there and watched, which surprised me, but once the truck started driving away she must have realized what was going on because she started galloping across the field. (I realize ‘cow’ and ‘gallop’ aren’t usually featured in the same sentence but I’ve never seen a cow move like that). She also started bellowing ‘MOOOOOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOOOOOO, MOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” It was heartbreaking - poor mama cow! We could still hear her lowing half an hour later when we were on top of the mountain. The kids wanted to set her free so she could get her babies back. Man, I’m glad I’m no farmer. I realize that cheese requires that milk goes in the bucket, not the baby, but still…. And only 2 days before Mother’s Day…
Then we made it up to the castle. Before this trip Callie had resisted. “Mom, I’ve been to castles, they are old, they are strong and they’ve been attacked lots of times. They are in different shapes, but still all the same, in the end.” Well, that may be true, but she still had a great time once we were there. The first 3 shots are of the church – I thought it would be an amazing location for a modern day wedding.
The views were amazing. Zander took the shot of Andre’ and I. He took TONS of shots on this trip – hopefully he and I will blog about it later. He really likes to blog and I want to encourage his creativity – it is just hard to find time when the other 2 aren’t around.
This was a true ruin – the walls were falling in, there were lots of areas that were roped off. They were trying to fix it to some degree –there was a giant chute to toss debris down and concrete laid over some sections of the walls but it all seemed very ad hoc. I thought the way nature was reclaiming this was actually quite beautiful. We think people back then must have been shorter since all the lintels were very low and look at the height of the table! We ate our picnic there – amazing to think other Bisontins had probably eaten bread and cheese in that very spot over 1000 years before – just like us! (OK, not just like us – did medieval folk imbibe juice boxes or peanut butter and jelly?)
Griffin loved this place – he was the leader of every expedition down a new trail. I was so glad he walked the entire time since, in Paris, he was rebelling a bit against our usual habits of walking everywhere. Guess he is a country boy at heart. Here you can see him climbing up a crumbling wall, brandishing his wildflower bouquet and casting spells on all of us. His potty training is basically complete, didn’t even have an accident in Paris – which was a hard town to find a potty!
We miss you all. Special love to all my friends and family that are Moms. I hope you all realize how important you are in the lives of your children. When Andre’ asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I thought for a bit and then said, Well, I can’t have what I really want so why bother? What I want, you may have guessed, is to be with my very own Mommie – I miss you Mom!!!!