I was going to go without writing this week but I thought I should warn you in advance. As I feel like I am just repeating myself over and over again saying, “This week I looked after the kids and then on Sunday I went to Paris,” and as I bet a lot of people are getting bored of reading my blogs, I’m thinking I should cut them down to every two weeks. I guess if I have something to say, I’ll post every week but if there’s a week that goes by without a post, it just means I’m waiting for the following one.
This week ended up well, even with Anne not being there. The kids and I had a lot of fun making cookies and just enjoying each other’s company. The last night, we made dinner together and when I was tucking Antoine into bed, he asked if I could sleep with him that night. The next day when Anne came back home, Antoine started saying, “Maman” so Anne would say “Oui?” and he would just continue saying “Maman” and the pattern would continue. I was playing with Alice and I was wondering why he wasn’t just asking his question since she was obviously listening and I looked up and he was looking at me waiting for ME to answer. I quietly explained that I wasn’t his mother and he quickly switched to “Janelle” (thank goodness). On Saturday night, I spent an hour and 45 minutes on a trip to Ikea (here, pronounced ee-kay-uh) and that wasn’t including walking. I found out that I could get a hot dog and drink for 1.30 and was amazed because you can’t even get a drink for that much ANYWHERE in Paris. On Sunday, I made my way back to Ikea since the last time, I only got to take a brisk walk around the store before it closed. After spending at least an hour trying to decide how I should redecorate my 10-year-old bedroom that’s been the same since we moved into the house, I found a mall that’s open on Sundays! Because I knew my entire family was in Edmonton doing our annual springtime shopping trip, I decided I should do the same in Paris. After getting many good deals, I took my +2-hour trip home.
As I come closer to my halfway point, I start to wonder if I feel at home here. I mean, it’s been close to five months and sometimes I still have to try to make myself believe that I am, in fact, living in France. But am I really living here? Sure, I’m breathing, eating, sleeping, which is technically living but when I’m telling people my life story, will it be “When I was 18, I moved to France and lived there for 10 months” or “When I was 18, I went to France and stayed there for 10 months”? According to my Widget dictionary, one of the meanings of home is “the place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.” Well, I am definitely part of a household and I like to think that I’m part of the family here but then again, it’s not really “permanent” – I will always know that in the end, I will be going back to Saskatoon. Okay, well let’s look at the next one: “a house or an apartment considered as a commercial property.” I’m assuming it has to be your own house. So for example, when I went to Trois-Rivieres for the summer, my three roommates and I had our own apartment. We did everything we should for it to be our home – prepared the meals, did the laundry, slept, had our own rules (and broke the rules given to us); we had our own independence. But it never really felt like “home,” maybe because it was a short five weeks so probably because of that same non-permanent feeling. Lastly, “a place where something flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates”…obviously meaning Saskatoon. So when I’m forty and I have a family and my own house, will I still be saying to my friends and colleagues, “Oh, I’m going back home to spend Christmas with my parents this year”? Or will I really find myself thinking of this as home anytime soon? Maybe to make it feel like home, you have to be able to go days without thinking of your past life, without thinking of memories, of people back where you came from, of foods you want to eat, places you want to go back to, events you want to attend. But for me, that seems impossible. It’s too difficult to forget everything that shaped me into what I am today. Why would one want to forget the important and meaningful things? I definitely still haven’t went a day without having a thought of “home” cross my mind, and I probably won’t until I get back there. Maybe this won’t feel like home until I leave and realize it’s gone. That’s the idea, isn’t it? – that you don’t realize you have it until it’s gone. But I guess the important thing is that for now, I’m enjoying myself here.
Tomorrow I have my scan to find out the big thing that was wrong with me approximately one month ago. I won’t be surprised if it’s too late to find out but it’ll be interesting if they do. I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Love always
Home – Marc Broussard