“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
Tomorrow is my thirty-seventh birthday, and I’m feeling…reflective. This has been a tough year for us as a family, and for me personally, which I wrote about here. I also recently vented on Instagram, and was blown away by the response and support. As with any difficulty in life, you can focus on the weight of it, or you can choose to live in the light. While I’ve spent a good bit of time doing the former, I’m currently striving for the latter. The quote I shared above really speaks to me, especially right now. While I’ve experienced a lot of growth, I’m still discovering what this chapter in my life is teaching me. In the meantime, I have a lot to be thankful for, and having two four-year-olds around me 24/7 is a great mood lifter and reminder of what is most important in this life. All you need is love, and I’ve got that in spades.
We journeyed into the city today specifically to see this incredible exhibit by artist Ann Hamilton. I first learned of her work back in 2012, when she exhibited the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC. While we had the best intentions of getting there to see it for ourselves, we never made it, and I regret that intensely. This latest work, entitled habitus, refers to a condition or custom of dress but also to social patterns. It’s an immersive, engaging installation, and we were all delighted by it. The kids found so much joy in pulling and turning the curtains, which billowed to gigantic proportions. I found it to be simultaneously intimate and vast, and as with most of Ann’s work, mesmerizing.
If you’re looking for a delightful little sanctuary to grab breakfast, brunch, or lunch in (or near) the 9th, Café Marlette is your place. I first discovered the Marlette brand while brunching at Claus – their (delicious) organic bread and cake mixes were sold there. On my last trip, while staying nearby, I made the café a destination. I ended up there for a late lunch after a morning of exploration, and it was the perfect spot to recharge (both literally and figuratively). They have a wholesome selection, and I enjoyed the soft-boiled eggs, along with the chau fleur salade (shown below). My dessert consisted of a slice of their divine banana bread, which was perfectly accompanied by a cup of great coffee, supplied by Coutume. The interior is minimalist and cosy, and the staff is friendly and attentive. If you’re short on time, take a snack à emporter!
Café Marlette | 51 rue des Martyrs 75009 Paris
I’m forever grateful for the blogging community, and the friends I’ve made along the way. Erin Austen Abbott is one of those friends, and while we’ve never met, our connection as mothers and small business owners is tangible. She recently launched a lifestyle blog focused on travel with kids in tow, and invited me to share our experience traveling with kids to Paris. It was the ultimate field trip for us of course, and I could wax poetic for days on this topic. Don’t worry, I narrowed it down to our favorites, including where to play, dine, shop and stay. Follow the link below…merci encore Erin!
city stories: paris
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
If you’re a parent, it’s the time of year when your social feeds are flooded with school buses, shiny new backpacks, and carefully curated wardrobes and lunch boxes. We’re inundated with emotional posts – from bittersweet tears and separation anxiety, to more relaxed and joyful (?) send-offs as the years pass. We have yet to join these ranks. This will be our fourth year watching from the sidelines, and we’re still feeling uneasy about getting in the game. We don’t have all the answers yet, and most likely never will. What we do know is that we’re in a season of life that goes by all too quickly, and we’re holding onto it with all our might. I’ve avoided discussing this topic here for so long, because it’s a highly charged and personal one. Every family has different needs and goals…I’m sharing our journey, with respect for your choices.
The gravity of parenthood has never been more evident to me than when making decisions about our children’s education. Those decisions and questions began years ago, when Henry and Marie were still in utero. What educational path would we choose? Public, private, homeschool, charter? Where are the best school districts? What type of learners will they be? Which environment will suit them best? The questions are endless – it’s dizzying and overwhelming. Add the societal pressures, and it’s enough to make me want to crawl under a rock. We’ve received advice (both solicited and not) from family and friends, and have toured a myriad of schools. The cost of a (secular) preschool education has left us in a state of shock, and we haven’t felt right about any of the options we’ve explored. We’re waiting for something to feel right.
Until that happens, we’ve decided that we’re not going to decide (yet). We are giving ourselves (and the kids) another year to get our bearings, find a more permanent home, and choose an educational path. Of course, we’ll continue our quest and research in the meantime. If we choose the traditional route, we wouldn’t enroll them in kindergarten until they are six (two years from now). So, while the kids will remain “in the nest” for a bit longer, we’ve already started providing a bit more structure to their learning (more on that soon). I’m so thankful to have the luxury (and choice) of being at home with my children, and letting them learn at their own pace, for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. What path did you choose, and what has worked best for your child? Would you change anything, if you could? Please share!