The weekend before Christmas I went out to MD to be with my girls. My daughter and her wife are both successful women. I was concerned about what to get them for Christmas. When my daughter said "just get us restaurant gift cards" I bought them both cards for about every one of their favorite restaurants. Doug was asking what I got them for Christmas before I left. When I started telling him he said "I think you got them a lot!" I said "well, who knows what they are getting me!" My daughter is extremely kind and generous and around November I made a point of calling her just to tell her how proud I am because of this.
We sat down to open gifts and my daughter sat this shopping bag down in front of me.
I said "I'm afraid you got me more than I got you."
She smiled and said quietly "that is possible."
Then she pointed out that the shopping bag had European flair and showed me the guy on the bag that was wearing the I heart Paris t-shirt.
She said "I know you studied French and have always wanted to go to Paris."
She said "we are doing a theme this year."
Again, I nodded.
We've done themes before.
I'm on board.
I always carry a little notebook in my purse. I'm always jotting down ideas that I don't want to forget.
Originally, my daughter thought she would wrap my gifts in these papers. These papers are large and heavy duty like wallpaper. Then she thought I might want to use them with my art. (I hope to frame one of them and possibly use some of them to decoupage a table top.) In the end, she decided not to use them as gift wrap, but to include them as part of the gift.
I like the way it smells!
At one point I started to reach to the bottom of the bag and my daughter said "there is an order to this." She had a layer of tissue paper and then more gifts below the tissue. She told me the tissue was a false bottom to the bag. I nodded.
I have always been the queen of s'mores and I love these little s'more ornaments.
Isn't he cute? Cute little frenchie s'more guy.
She said "I thought you might want to brush up on your French."
I nodded again. Sure. I studied four years in high school and at Ball State University.
I joke: "J'obliez tout le monde." Roughly translated "I forget the world." As in, I forget it all. Meaning I don't remember a lot of my french. (Or as much as I wish I did.) I LOVE the French language. The language of love. Oh swoon. You can say trash can in french and it sound romantic and sexy.
See that piece of paper stuck in the front of the Frommer's Paris 2012?
This whole time, I'm not getting it.
Oh, I get that we are doing a theme Christmas.
And the theme is Paris.
I did study French for five years.
It has always been a dream to go to Paris. I do love all things French.
So, I say "hey, you left a piece of paper in the front of this book."
She nods "uh-huh, look at it."
Me: "Is it your Amazon receipt?"
My daughter: "Look at it."
My daughter says "Look at it. Read it."
I start reading it. My name is on it. I see the words Dulles and Charles De Gaulle. Suddenly I start to get it. I start to cry. I can't talk. I'm blubbering. The kind where snot starts coming from your nose and the tears are coming so fast you can't see. I'm holding the piece of paper in my hands. My daughter and her wife are sitting there looking at me. My daughter-in-law holds baby Bee on her lap. In the worst kind of sobby, snotty I'm crying and can't talk voice I say
"Are you taking me to Paris?"
My daughter is so happy.
She motions to her wife and the baby.
She says "we all are! We are all taking you and we are all going!"
At this point everyone is wiping tears.
My daughter-in-law turns to my daughter and smiles and says "I think that went pretty well."
My daughter told me that she wanted to make this dream come true for me.
I said "thank you."
But how insufficient is thank you when someone is making a life-long dream come true?
Baby Bee will be fourteen months old when we go. I'm certain she will simply charm everyone we meet in Paris. Maybe by then I can teach her how to say "Bonjour!"
For two days, I couldn't tell the story without tearing up. It seems like a dream. I've applied for my passport.
I'm going to Paris!