This evening Brooklyn and I had the following conversation:
Me: Would you girls like pizza for dinner?
Brooklyn: No, I want leftover ratatouille.
While for the most part, life here in France has become very routine and normal, every once in a while these "huh?" moments catch me off guard and remind me how very far from home we are!
Here are some other daily glimpses from our life here in Lyon: This morning Talia was driving us all crazy in true two year-old fashion by running around the kitchen yelling the same word over and over and over at the top of her lungs. I looked over and noticed she was wearing both of the oven mitts and saying "Chaud! Chaud! Chaud!" (Hot, in French.) I had to stop and smile as I realized that if I could have glimpsed that scene a year ago, I would have found it completely adorable (not to mention motivating it terms of tackling the innumerable hurdles that stood in the way of getting here.)
I also admit that I enjoyed being bossed around by my four year-old yesterday at the park. Definitely the oldest sibling, Brooklyn was micro-managing our game of "cache-cache" (hide-and-go seek) by telling me exactly when and where to hide, count, etc. The difference, however, was that she was actually doing it in French. While she still lacks a lot of vocabulary and some grammatical structures, over the past month she's really taken off with the language. Her teachers are so pleased that she's making such significant efforts to communicate in French now, and as parents we're trying to jump on board and follow her good example. Last weekend we went to the Swiss temple in Bern with our congregation. I chuckled as we pulled up and Jason said, "Look at all of the snow!" only to have Brooklyn translate, "Regarde! Beaucoup de neige!"
Even I am making some linguistic progress. In general, it happens so slowly that you don't feel like you're progressing at all, but positive changes still happen if you are patient. Yesterday I had to take resolve an issue at the social security office. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that four months ago I never would have had the linguistic competence to successfully accomplish that task. While I'm sure that my grammar and pronunciation were not flawless, I was able to get the job fairly well done without any major communication breakdowns, and I didn't even sweat bullets in the process. That's progress!
Things are going really well for Jason too. This architectural internship is turning out to be great--he has lots of autonomy and responsibility with his design project, which is turning out so well that they are already taking significant steps to move forward with it. I think it's a big confidence booster to have his many years of education and training actually be valuable and useful, even on the other side of the big puddle.
And yet, despite all of the wonderful things that are happening, we're starting to feel those gentle tuggings towards home. We were extended the opportunity to stay for another year, but decided we'd rather be closer to family. (Not to mention the fact that Jason still needs to graduate.) :)
So instead of converting more dollars to euros, we decided instead to purchase our plane tickets home. We're coming back on July 2nd--just in time to celebrate Independence Day with some good old-fashioned fireworks. (Sadly, we barely miss the beginning of the Tour de France, but you can't have everything...)
With plane tickets in hand, I'm full of the awareness that we haven't really got all that much time left. I hope that instead of counting down the days until our flight, we will do our best to take advantage of and seize every moment that we have here. After all, this is an opportunity that we will probably never have again.