So on this Autumn day in October, the boys did what children are designed to do when let loose in a sprawling little city... they maneuvered through it like it was one giant obstacle course. Holding my breath as they weave through and around crowded boulevards and cobbled walkways (to the dismay of tourists, rollerbladers and strolling Parisians who'd prefer not to be sideswiped by a meter high torpedo), the boys are becoming more and more at ease within the streets of Paris, their scooters gliding through the city like crayons along a drawing, "feeling something deep and native within them expand and enlarge and illumine*..."
Some of their favorite spaces to ride their trottinette are pictured above - between the stone columns inside the arcades of the Palais Royal, the wide sidewalks on the perimeter of Jardin du Luxembourg and the southern end of the Place du Carrousel against the backdrop of the Louvre. I remind them what a great privilege it is to have such a playground, the former space of royals... and for now I skip certain details like when there was once a menacing guillotine on the very plaza they just ran through (I leave that to their teachers ;).
* a quote from Global Mom, the book I just finished reading and wanted to share. It is a wonderfully inspiring and thoughtfully engaging memoir by Melissa Dalton-Bradford about her experiences of settling in and being unsettled in various global locales (including Paris) with her large family. Despite the stumbles and struggles, she beautifully illustrates how to define home and thrive within a community. Melissa's writing is wise, warm and full of wit and humor.