Allez Les Bleus! Allez Les Bleus! Let’s Go Blues! I realized that if I’m exposed to the same sentence over and over again everywhere I go for hours on end, I actually can learn French.
As many of you know, France has made it to the final round of the World Cup championship. And this Sunday Les Bleus face the Italians in the final match. Fred and I watched France v. Portugal in the semi-final game last night at a bar on Boulevard Saint-Germain. We were joined by a couple who were visiting from San Francisco (friends of friends, who we now consider friends after some serious bonding went down as we walked to the Champs Élysées chugging a bottle of wine that they had purchased the day before on a Burgundy wine tour). I had always wondered what it would be like to travel to Europe as a care-free college student. Last night was probably the closest I’ll ever come to knowing.
At around 2:00 a.m. Fred and I found ourselves on Place de la Concorde, the metro had stopped running and we didn't realize buses were an option until we were nearly home. We would have had better luck hailing a cab on New Year’s Eve in the rain. Thus we started the long walk home and 2 hours later, after a few failed hitch-hiking attempts, we reached our apartment. We did manage to secure a ride for our friends. A 20-something couple kindly offered us a ride, we let the tourists take it as there was only room for two (plus the driver looked a little sketchy and I couldn’t stomach the thought of Bilbo being orphaned).
I really was having a great time. Soaking it all in. Before me a sea of people engulfing the Arc de Triomphe, next to me cars bursting with jubilant teens waving the French flag, the makings of a stage for the Bastille Day ceremonies partially erected on the Concorde, my euphoric French husband holding my hand. But, there was a part of me that was sad.
Sad because the 4th of July holiday had passed without a barbeque, without my friends or family, without my country (I made some deviled eggs and popcorn for lunch that day – the combination of which made me nauseous). Sad because I realized that if Fred and I decide to have children, they won’t have the same traditions and memories as me. It’s highly unlikely that our kids will smell lighter fluid and think of an old black Weber charcoal grill, play Paul Revere in a school play, or know the Pledge of Allegiance. Sad because in all the festivities of France’s victory, I realized that our kids likely will prefer le football over baseball (that's Fred up there on the far right, by the way). I love warm days, big beers, hot dogs, and the crack of the bat. It’s much more than watching a baseball game, it’s the feeling that comes with it. That little bit of Americana.
I’ve also thought about the possibility that our kid could have an accent while speaking English (Fred believes this is inevitable). I don’t like the idea of that. I want my kid to speak like me (except for all the "likes" and "you knows" and "ums"), especially if I’m the one doing the heavy-lifting to get the kid here. I guess I could home school the child. We’d start every morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and he or she would be awarded the lead role in all theater productions. Our social studies class would take an annual trip to Washington D.C. I’d even offer French as a language elective (but only to appease Fred, and he'd have to teach it). I feel much better now. It’s late and I'm going to bed. Thanks for listening!