It’s that time of the . . . week! Deb at San Diego Momma is hosting PROMPTuesday #27: Trippin’. There are no rules, and here is Deb’s prompt:
“Write about a trip or an excursion that left you changed in some way. Did you conquer a fear on your trip? Learn something about yourself? Learn something about another person? Break up? Get together?”
It was Christmas morning, the day before we were to leave for ten days in Paris. We drank coffee, exchanged gifts, and I was on the futon watching TV. I was a little sad. Christmas morning is supposed to be for children, and I missed Kristen and Courtney that morning. They were having the last Christmas visit they would ever have with their biological father, in fact it would be one of the last times they’d ever see him, which was a good thing and another story. It is a story that I may or may not tell someday because that story is as much theirs as mine. Tom noticed that I was feeling blue and so he went and got my engagement ring from his nearly packed suitcase and proposed. He’d been planning to propose in Paris on New Year’s Eve, he told me, but he thought I needed cheering up.
The following day, Kristen and Courtney, who had returned home where they belonged the night before, joined Tom and me as we boarded the long flight overseas. Tom had grown up part of his life in Paris, the son of medieval historians whose work required that they do their research in the places where that history happened. We planned to visit Tom’s parents who were in Paris at the time, take in a few sights, visit neighborhoods and schools where Tom spent time as a boy, and eat chocolate-filled crepes.
When we arrived in Paris, I was a bit overwhelmed. Wouldn’t you know? All of the signs were in French. I had never been to Europe or anywhere that “they” didn’t speak English or Spanish, and at least I speak enough Spanish that when in Mexico I could get myself to the nearest baño. I had known Tom since our first day of law school, and well enough at that point to accept his proposal of marriage, but I was soon to find out something new about him. He spoke French, rather fluently in fact. I knew that he had learned to speak French as a child, but even Tom said he was surprised by how much he was able to recall.
As he navigated our newly forming family through the cobblestone streets of Paris, I felt safe and protected, a brand new feeling for me to have with a man. With Tom’s beautiful French accent, a native accent that can be acquired only from learning a language as a child, he ordered our food in restaurants, bargained with vendors on the streets, read maps, and led us through a magical journey. In that place that I had never been before, I fell more deeply in love with Tom. Paris was not the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last time either, that I’d find myself surprised by Tom, and falling more in love with him.