Monday, January 2, 2012

How do you wrap Paris?

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."
I nodded.
She said "we are doing a theme this year."
Again, I nodded.
A theme. 
That's cool.
We've done themes before.
I'm on board.
 There were stickers.
 And sticky notes.
 File folders.
A Parisian calendar.
Cool.
Little notebooks.
I always carry a little notebook in my purse.  I'm always jotting down ideas that I don't want to forget.
Parisian art papers.
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.
Bath & Body lotion.
I like the way it smells!
 Ooooh la, la!  Paris panties!
 (Front)
 (& back)
 Two books.
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.
An order.
O.k.
No problem.
In the bottom of the bag- a s'mores ornament. 
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.
Then these two books. 
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."
I open the piece of paper.  I say to her "it looks like you've bought a ticket."
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!

25 comments:

ain't for city gals said...

wow...What a gift! And to go with all three of your girls!! I can't wait to hear all about it!! I wanted to do this for my niece when she graduated from law school but just couldn't swing it finacially...maybe when she makes partner! I will have to see if I can find this info from awhile back...a girl was looking to buy one of my trailers...she lives in Paris six months and northern Calif wine country six months...anyway she does personal tours in France...it sounded nice..

Cheryl said...

Funny, all I remember from MY 3 years of French Classes is "FERME LA BOUCHE"!

Amazing gift Cheryl. How awesome to have a daugher and her family love you so much that they want to fulfill YOUR dreams! I'm crying now.

Cannot wait to hear more about this trip!

MamaMonki said...

Okay I'm crying for you. What an amazing gift - from what must be an amazing daughter. Can't wait to see pictures and hear all about your trip. You will make so many wonderful memories!

Sherry said...

C'est magnifique! Vous êtes une femme fortunée! I'm so happy for ALL of you. What a wonderful family, daughter, daughter in law, and Miss Bee! Bon voyage!

Donna said...

C'est fantastic!
There is nothing more wonderful (and rare, actually) than what Oprah calls the "ugly cry" where you are so happy you are blubbering, snot and all; where outsiders would think something awful happened but the opposite is true. Laura, I've got to hand it to you: This is rare air! Fantastic! We will stay tuned to hear ALL about it. 2012 is going to be quite the year. You've got Paris. I've got a son's wedding. We'll savor every moment.

From the Kitchen said...

I knew what was coming in the bottom of that bag but I'm still speechless!! What a fabulous daughter and daughter-in-law you have!! And to see Paris with them and the baby will be priceless! Wow!!

Best,
Bonnie

Holly said...

Un-freaking-believeable! That is so wonderful! I'm just so over the moon happy for you! Take tons of pics for us!

Kris said...

Tres Bien!!!! I am so excited for you! What a lovely, lovely thing for your daughters to do for you!!! It will be a trip of a lifetime! I went to Italy with my Mom for 3 weeks about 7 years ago. It was absolute heaven!
I can't wait to hear more about your plans!!!
PS I don't know how to spell bien in french. So I may very well have bungled that!!

Joan said...

Wow!!! What an incredible gift. It will be the trip of a lifetime and you get to spend it with three wonderful women. =)

Rosemary said...

Yes, you are one lucky woman to be blessed with such a wonderfully generous and thoughtful daughter! N'est pas?

TARYTERRE said...

I have tears running down my face. The presentation was LOVELY. The gift, PRICELESS. THAT is so WONDERFULLY SWEET. You will have the time of your life in amazing company. SAVOR each moment from beginning to end. And don't forget to take lots of pictures so we can see your smiling faces. What a GLORIOUS year 2012 is going to be. Take care.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

LUCKY YOU (Blessed I should say) ! Lots of happy for you and wow . . what a beautiful Christmas gift from your daughter. Can't wait to see the pics from Paris :O)

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

OH. MY. GOD! You done learned your girl well...what a gift! A gift of a lifetime! I'm so completely excited for you!!!!

Brian Miller said...

holy cow...wow...wow...wow....praying my boys are successful now cause i wanna go to paris...smiles...what a gift..a.nd love the way she did it...awesome....take lots of pics to make me all the more jealous...smiles...

"now she was a part of this place"...ewwww....hahaha nice comment...smiles.

Rae said...

Now I'm crying too. What a wonderful gift. This is so exciting. You are going to have a great time in the company of some very wonderful family.

Patty said...

YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!!!! Enjoy every single moment! What an awesome gift! Oh, and don't forget to take lots and lots of pictures!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Well, the girls outdid themselves and are giving you a dream come true! Bless them both...what fun, and what an adventure to share with your girls. I'm thrilled for you...absolutely th=rilled!!!!!

Janie Fox said...

Yippee!! I went 2 years ago..it is fab. I studied french for 5 years and I cannot remember "merde"...but when I got there I could figure out signs and a lot came back to me. You will have an awesome time. I am so happy for you. What a wonderful daughter and daughter -in-law you have!!

Brian Miller said...

and that bath and body works scent is awesome...got some for my wife for christmas...in lieu of a trip to paris...lol

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I cried and cried when I read this. Your daughter and her wife are doing such a wonderful thing for you. BUT...it is because of who you are. You love them fiercely and unconditionally. And they know that. You have a BALL!

In the Light of the Moon said...

I'm still crying here and I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohappy for YOU!!I had to call my daughter in the room and tell her and then....she started to cry..heehee.
Pictured pictured pictures...we want pictures when you get back ok!!Hugs,Cat

Privet and Holly said...

Woo-HOO!
As much as you enjoyed
getting that gift, it was
your daughter who got
the best gift: seeing your
surprise and gratitude!
Fantastic : )
This truly will be a
joy-FULL year for you,
sweet friend!

xx Suzanne

PS: No, I wasn't in MD for
Christmas, just Thanksgiving :)
That WOULD have been a
fun coincidence, though!

gamer39 said...

ok you made me cry.....this is awesome. What a wonderful family.

Jan said...

O-la-la.......are you wearing those panties while you're there?

How wonderful for you and what a lovely surprise! No wonder you cry when you think about the trip. It's going to be wonderful.

In 1990, my husband did kind of the same thing to me....presented me tickets to Germany to go and visit my girlfriend (stationed there with her family). I left in 3 days!

Oh, I'm thrilled for you and can't wait to hear all about your adventure!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Yeah! What a sweet story this is.

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