Monday, November 15, 2010
We’ve arrived... it’s time to go!
Have you ever had a time in your life where right when you started to feel comfortable and at home in a new place, you moved? Maybe you were a military kid, or maybe an MK, or maybe you just moved a lot. Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. In recent years for us, this has been a recurring theme.
Yesterday, I had that moment of “I’m at home here.” We were eating lunch at a very French cafeteria-style restaurant in the mall. We were laughing at Sawyer as he spit out a green bean, dipped a chicken nugget in yogurt, threw a mini-fit, and tried to fall asleep in his high chair. JJ and I were eating the same foods as the French people around us and truly enjoying them. Those chicken nuggets Sawyer was eating? Free, because I had struck up a conversation with a lunch lady and made friends, Sawyer smiled at the right time :).
Right before lunch, we’d been shopping in the mall. We understand now the process of buying things here. France (and Paris) is by far the most expensive place we’ve ever lived, but we’ve figured out how to shop and not dip into emergency life-savings with every purchase. JJ had picked up some maternity clothes, I had tried on a pair of skinny-ish pants and actually thought “I like these” (didn’t buy them though, way too small to work with my big American shoes, will have to work out the shoe problem first).
After lunch, we got in our car to make the 30-minute drive home. I didn’t pull out our GPS, I didn’t look at a map... for about a 20-mile radius around our home, we know our way around! And I finally understand how to read street signs. As I was driving I began to think about the train ride into Paris and recited the names of nearly every stop along the way. I thought about the big city and the monuments, the squares, the fountains, the fact that we finally know our way around.
Friday night I had dinner with some French people. I was able to talk with one man about the Bible... what it says, how to read it, what it all means. We talked about many more things as well. Saturday I sat down behind a drumset to play music with some friends. Saturday night I rode a couple hours in a car with some other friends to and from a basketball match. We talked and laughed and got to know each other far better than we ever had on the court.
We finally feel at home here. And so we are going to move. Sometime around Christmas, we’ll be moving south to a whole new city with a whole new way of life and dialect of French. We’ll re-learn our way around, start new relationships, and completely replant ourselves. We’ll hope and pray that maybe next time we’ll get to know a place and actually stay there awhile.