I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’m sure most of you are wondering what’s going on because you’ve heard a little bit about it, and I bet a lot of you don’t even know it’s happened. Well, you’ll definitely find out by the end of this post. The kids still had school off on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so during that time, I was either reading or spending time with them. I finished the last Harry Potter book, which I’ve never read before. Luckily in these libraries, the English books seem to be forgotten, although there’s quite a small selection. I read another book the day after which was alright but kind of weird. On Tuesday, Julien taught me how to juggle using a baton while holding two sticks; I dunno what it’s called in English.. It was so hard though! When he does it, it looks so easy but when I tried, it was way too difficult. And just having those two sticks in my hands just made me want to play a drum; I had forgotten how much I’ve missed it! Alexia and I made a candle on Wednesday as well as some other Christmas presents. It turned out nice and pink, and we’ll probably be making more next week.

On Thursday, I went to Saint Quentin to do some more shopping for Christmas presents and then I came back home to do homework before the kids came back from school. I watched and helped Alexia practice guitar, which was fun cause I got to learn a little bit, and then we had supper. After supper, Alexia had her guitar lesson and then I talked with her for an hour before she went to bed. Friday was school again, which was nice because we hadn’t had class for two weeks. After school, I went back home and just watched TV with the kids before supper.

And Saturday was the day when everything changed. Saturday was supposed to be the day I was officially 20% done this chapter, probably the longest chapter in my book of life. I thought four more of this amount of time would be so incredibly long. But in a matter of seconds, I had already reached the 100% finished point. I thought something was up when I was eating breakfast with Alexia and she wasn’t talking; she was only saying one-worded answers to everything I asked. After breakfast, Catherine asked to speak to me so I sat down with her and Laurent. And that’s when they told me that they decided they were going to stop the contract. The feeling that washed over me wasn’t sadness, wasn’t disappointment, wasn’t anger, but was relief. I knew that with their expectations being so incredibly high, I couldn’t cope with staying here for another eight months. They basically said that they appreciated me and I was a great au pair but they’re looking for something more than that and obviously, I couldn’t reach their standards. I’m not a perfect person and I can deal with that but I’m not going to change who I am in order to fit in with the “perfect family” (or so they think). The first thing that came to my mind was “Everything happens for a reason” and I knew that I could deal with it. And no, this does not mean I am coming back home. I have three short weeks to find another family and if I don’t, then I have no choice but to come back. But I feel that I am not quite done and that I still have a part to play here, in France. After my talk with Catherine and Laurent, I went straight to Alexia’s room and as soon as she saw me, she burst into tears, gave me a huge hug, and cried in my arms for at least ten minutes. I felt so bad that there was nothing I could do and I think she felt the exact same. The relationships that I’ve built with these kids are so incredibly strong and you’d think that would be enough of an importance to a parent, but they’re still looking for more. If they ever find it, I don’t know but it will definitely be difficult.

Sunday was the highlight of my week. I woke up early to go to church and I met quite a few people there. After church, we all went to the café next door, which we filled up with about twenty people. I was so surprised looking at the menu because it was the cheapest restaurant I’ve ever been to in Paris. I was sitting there thinking, “This doesn’t seem normal… should I just buy two things in order to pay the same amount of money as usual?” But I decided one sandwich would be good enough. I remember in Trois-Rivières, I found it so amazing how there were so many people from across Canada who decided that one location. They could have chosen anywhere else in Canada but for some reason, we were all brought to that one place. But here, it was so much bigger than that! There were so many people from around the world and so many times, the same thought went through my head, “All of these people somehow ended up here with me.” For a reason too, I don’t know what reason yet. I don’t know why I met the two girls from Kenya, the girl from Germany, the one from the US, the one from Sweden, the guy from Ethiopia, the guy from Australia (who happened to just be visiting Paris for three weeks and was leaving the next day), and all the other people as well. But I DO know that they were brought into my life for a reason and it just seems so magical: how we all ended up in the same café after church in Paris from every part of the world imaginable. It’s great how He works, isn’t it? Anyway, I got to talk to a bunch of them about my situation and there were so many of them willing to help, only after knowing me for a couple hours. They reassured me that I would find a family within the next three weeks, even if it’s the last day possible. And for the first time since I’ve come to France, I felt accepted, I felt appreciated, and I felt like someone really cared about me. One woman came to talk to me and she said something that has replayed over and over in my head and will probably stay with me forever. And this is what she said, “You are not going through this alone; you have a family here, okay?” At that moment, I almost burst into tears and I don’t think she realized how much that meant to me. We were there for three hours and so many people gave me their contact numbers before leaving, asking me to write them the next day and tell them how everything’s going. Lots of them are even trying to help me out: getting me contacted with agencies, asking their schools if there’s anyone looking for an au pair.. I was shocked because I’m not used to being faced with so many nice people willing to do something for someone they just met. After lunch, I walked around with four of the people I had just met and we toured around Paris for a couple hours before I had to go back home. I’m so glad I met each and every person that I talked to today and they have definitely all made an impact in my life in one way or another. Sunday night, Julien and Alexia knocked on my door to say goodnight to me – something that has never happened before. I don’t know why, maybe they’re hoping that they can change things, but I know that they still care and that meant a lot.

Today, I have class and then afterwards, I have an interview with another family. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to find the family I’m looking for. I hope everyone has a great week! I miss everyone so much! Love always

Maestro – Hans Zimmer **If I had to choose one song as the soundtrack of my life, this would be it

10 thoughts on “Maestro

  1. AAAAAAH OMG. ok Im going to start off by saying that was probably the most inspiration peice of reflective writing that I’ve read in a looong time. It’s really sad that you have to leave the kids you’ve grown so close with, but I’m sure you’ll stay in touch! I hope everything works out the way you want it to – whether thats finding another family or coming home to me :)speaking of which, if you DO come home, I’ve already created an action plan for us: workworkwork, then fly off to Australia in the fall! sound good? ps. I guess it’s worth mentioning that I’m about 75% sure I’m coming home at christmas.. for good. AAAAHHH I miss you!! LYLAS!


  2. Hey Janelle, How do I download that song? I want to listen to it. Ben . . . can you show me? You are so blessed that you are being ‘looked after’!Love you lots,Mom


  3. Wow Janelle. I am soooo sorry to hear that happened. Maybe Catherine felt that you were replacing her as “mom” ha, I don’t know. If you don’t find a family out there Janelle, then it is time for you to come home to people who love you, miss you, and really wish you were here. Have you had enough fun gallivanting around the world? Maybe. It’s up to you. See!! Church people rock!!!


  4. Yes! Devil sticks! I couldn’t remember the name. I definitely have those too, not very good at them though.Man Janelle, that is a bummer that you have to leave the kids. But I’m sure that you will have much greater adventures whether it’s in France, or back in Canada, or somewhere else. And I agree with Ben, I bet you were just too good for them. ha love you lots and lots and lots and miss you lots and lots and lots!Sorry I haven’t airmailed you yet. Let me know your future plans and I will drop you a line wherever you are.xoxoKate


  5. OMG this was the most heart warming post ever! im so sorry that this had to happen but im so proud of you for looking at the positive side of things:) I Miss you and Love you so much and just stay strong be safe and good luck! xxoo LYLAS!!


  6. Thanks everyone, you have no idea how much it means to me to know that you are all still reading my blog and you all still care while being halfway around the world. I guess I should let you know now that I found another family (the one I had the interview with) so I won’t be coming back quite yet. I love you all though!! And I’ll let you know my new address once I find it out xoxo


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