Leaving On A Paris Train

The feeling of Summer’s end loomed over me like a wet blanket.

I was consumed with the feeling of anxious arrival to the next destination of my life back home in the Bay. My wife and kids who stood with me on the platform were now on opposite sides of the glass, waving and smiling. Our 6yr old daughter was in good spirits, leaping in the air with her doudou; a French word for an affectionate plush toy. I had given her one of my giant bear hugs earlier, but when the train arrived she asked for a second one and held me tighter this time. Our son who is 2 years younger started to make his typical grumpy face as I waved. He was asking me if he could come back with me ever since we left for the station. I told him, “You have one more week to have fun and then I will pick you and mommy up at the airport.” His only response was “nooooo.” And now here he was mean-mugging me and trying to erase this memory for the next 7 days of summer vacation.

My beautiful wife and I had decided that these trips were important for many reasons. She had grown up spending her summers at the beach and the reunions with her cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmother was priceless. We made it a very clear and important choice to make these memories a part of the kids’ lives as well. I am also aware that for working parents, we need to decompress and enjoy the travel and relaxation that often doesn’t happen during the year. Sometimes her mom would let us go away for a week on a separate adventure and if we could we would make time to visit friends who lived not too far from France in the other neighboring ponds of Europe. This would make new memories for me that I cherish deeply.

So for now the summer is drawing to a close. We will have photos to scrap in our websites, new trinkets to place in the house. Getting back to normals new and not so new. As I wave for a final time at my family, the train slowly rolls down the track and I feel their love clinging to me from our shared time together. We will see each other again soon and talk about the flying doudou, grumpy face and mommy-daddy pride of vacations past.

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