I was in Paris for eight days earlier this summer with my, as it turns out, not-maladjusted middle child. (I had worried about the warnings of "middle children"when I became pregnant with the third. They were all unfounded. The middle may be the best adjusted of the three. Perhaps of all of us.)
I took the same trip with my oldest three years ago when he was the same age his brother is now, and guess what? It was not the same. Because the boys are not the same (and, perhaps, I am not the same.) It always makes me wonder when someone notes how different my boys are if that person is similar to his siblings. We're none of us clones, so far anyway, and isn't that what keeps family life so, well, lively?
It might have been the light, but after being in Paris for less than a day I was convinced that my living room walls are the wrong white all the way around, and cannot imagine that I made such a tragic mistake. Still, I have not picked up a paintbrush since I painted over the yellow swatches in the dining room. It's difficult to paint while writing or herding children or reading books on the porch, so the walls must wait.
As I sorted pictures on my return, I could see that they could be grouped into categories. This had not been my intent. "Take pictures of chalky white things, anything having to do with being a Leo and architectural elements for a house you will very likely never build," was not on the list of "what to do" on this trip. Though I knew myself well enough to know that I would take pictures of floors. And I did.
I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I thought a great deal about how I want to live and where and why.
But if my plans are clearer, and bigger, I came home knowing first things first. This mirror will have a chalky finish just as soon as I can get these boys back to school.
Images from top, Carlo Bugatti, Rembrandt Bugatti, both at Musee d'Orsay, the remaining from the Rodin Museum. Oh, except the last, which is obviously my dining room.