Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a week without armor


A lot can happen in a week.

When Naud traveled to Seattle on business, last month, I was surprised at my own vulnerability, my strength, and my fierce identity as a family unit.  In his absence, I was more organized, more efficient and a lot more level-headed.  I somehow managed to stay on top of everything while utterly exhausted and emerged with newfound appreciation for my husband.  All while I had the worst head cold of my life.

I discovered something terrifying and wonderful in the process.  My love of my husband is so great that I wanted nothing more than to ditch Paris and hop the next plane to Seattle to be with him.  In a nutshell, husband trumps Paris by a long shot.

I feel the need to clarify.  It’s not that my love of Paris ever exceeded my love of my husband.  It may sound that way but, simply, no.  The shocker was in coming to the full realization that wherever I go, home is family or more aptly put, family is home.

Annabelle and I make a great team when she isn’t driving me to drink but  Naud is my soft landing.  He is my safe harbor.  He winds me down when I’m all wound up and puts things in perspective.  I am a better mother when he is around.  I am a better woman with him in my life.

I am new to this business of business travel and already, I don’t love it.  During one conversation with Naud, I told him I missed him whenever I had to take out the garbage.  He wasn’t amused.

I didn’t love Paris that week.  Perhaps I could have weathered it like a pro if we hadn’t recently moved to a foreign country.  I had not fully processed the reality of our move until Naud left and I stayed behind.  The good news is, my child tends to bring out the grown up in me.  In that sense, Annabelle was a life saver and I was grateful for my constant companion.

While Naud was away, Annabelle started ballet classes, I went out for coffee with a kind and welcoming mother from school, we received our first French dinner invitation and Annabelle attended her first French birthday party.   We were feeling the love. 

The aforementioned birthday party coincided with Naud’s arrival back in Paris.  He called me from the airport to let me know he’d be home soon.  I greeted him at the door with a kiss and handed him a pair of running shoes.  Nothing cures jetlag quite like fresh air and exercise.  It was our first run together in Paris.   All was right and rosy with my man by my side, the city streaking past us in a blur of lights and colors.  Our city.  Home.


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