21 July 2008

Autre Lands Autre Moeurs

Last weekend we went to France to entrust our oldest child into the hands of a foreign family we had never before met.  We knew they would be OK, though, because we found them on Facebook

No, not really! Ha ha!  The truth is that the grandmother of the French family (the grandmere if you will) went to university - back in the 60s - with the mother of one our friends and since then their two families have indulged in some reciprocal god-parenting, and meeting up in the Languedoc, and anyway they are both doctors so I am sure they'll be all right;  and they have children just about your age, well a little younger and so you'll have a great time, anyway it's Bastille Day on Monday, so... fireworks!

Such are life's connections made.

We arrived early and so we parked up outside their apartment for 20 minutes of nerve-racking anticipation.

As we waited the sun went behind a cloud, the temperature dropped and it began to lightly rain. Along the pavement walked a grizzled, tobacco-stained Frenchman, who paused to stare into our car. I wondered aloud if she would get a room of her own or would she have to share with the truffle-pig, and our middle-one suddenly cracked 'It's not too late!", she cried, "Get back in the car! Drive for the ferry!"

But it was too late and forty minutes later we found ourselves seated around an immaculate Louis XIV table, with hosts of ineffable French elegance, sipping the tiny coffees we had been given and wishing we weren't all wearing jeans.

In came a small child, about 10, but as elegant as her mother, and without a flicker of hesitation surprise she gravely went around the table introducing herself to each of us in turn, with a kiss on each cheek.

The family Botogol were each of us thrilled and appalled, on the edge of our chairs with the rising tension, as she progressed inexorably toward Botogol-minor, the last in line writhing in his seat, breathing hard, glancing from side to side searching for means of escape, 11 years old et ne jamais avant été embrassé

1 comment:

Burgin Streetman said...

so lucky and wonderful