Being in Paris
for the first time
with someone I love
truly, madly, deeply
(even after we've been together for
more than two weeks already,
driving all over Italy
and France, having a great time
even though everyone said
that more than three weeks
of constant togetherness
would make us both crazy )
Sidewalk cafés and wonderful little restaurants.
Staying at The Royal Monceau,
dining in the restaurant there
and stealing sideways glances
at Omar Sharif and his two lady companions,
both elegantly dressed and of a certain age.
Being delighted that the French
were so friendly
despite my rusty French language skills
and the many holes in my vocabulary.
(I could make myself understood in the present tense --
at least most of the time --
be polite, and order food for both of us.
Mrs. Fletcher, Ms. Smith, and Mrs. Forrest,
you taught me well.)
Musée d'Orsay on Mother's Day
when I know the kids
are safe at home in
with a responsible nanny,
knowing that they weren't
too freaked out about the earthquake
I just knew would happen while we were gone,
the one that rattled dishes in the cupboards
and made the chandelier swing
but didn't break anything.
(And to my friends, who thought I was being
a neurotic mommy when I told them that
yes, I was excited about the trip
but I was really worried about the kids
because there was going to be an earthquake
while we were gone:
I told you so.)
A stroll along the Seine,
seeing the young couple
stealing a kiss in the shadows,
trusting that love would last forever.
Maybe for them it did.
But at least I have wonderful memories
of Paris in spring
and Musée d'Orsay on Mother's Day.