Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dinner at "home"

These photographs are from last night - a night we decided to stay in. But this morning is Mother's Day and Alix and I are having croissants, cafe au lait, and confitures de cassis, while listening to Edit Piaf (La Vie en Rose) and Ella Fitzgerald (I Love Paris).

A lovely little Rose from Provence

Boy, I wish I knew how to put accents over letters (don't see an "insert" function on the blog). Last night we downloaded some albums to iTunes - Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline - because we haven't heard anything but street music since we arrived. We had a really nice serenade on the Metro by two people with accordions (yes, they were great!) and a boom box. And there is a middle-aged woman who sets up down the street and sings and hands out candy to the kids.

Singing Edith Piaf on the streets of Montmartre

Ooo, and right now we're listening to Fred Astaire sing "Night and Day," because I also downloaded a Cole Porter CD with various performers - love it!

Sitting on our awful couch with my new scarf
(you can't see the Peace Symbols in sparkles)

This is my first Mother's Day without my mother (after 64 of them with her). If I were home and she were alive, we'd probably be going out for brunch or possibly be doing dinner at my house. She hated Mother's Day. She believed it was characterized by false sentimentality because the system is set up to make life hard for mothers and families. The system tries to cover that up with sappy cards and flowers. She believed that the system was set up to make it impossible for women to be mothers and have their own lives (careers) and do both of them well. In her ideal world, mothers and fathers would both work, but many fewer hours, and fathers would be as responsible for their kids as mothers and not be considered "babysitting" when they took care of the kids. Having only men work (which was only true for the upper and middle class, anyway) or having people work so many hours (as is the policy now) is totally unnecessary and detrimental to families. She was right, of course.

Alix with apricot tart from the Pure Butter Bakery

Alix and I both remember when Mother's Day was a day when we wanted "Dad" to take the kids away and give us a day of rest (that was certainly what my mother wanted). But now that our kids are grown, we certainly wish they were with us today - mine: Ellen and Julia - hers: Kirsten, Chris, Jenny, Erin, Kat - and our grandchildren. Happy Mother's Day from us to them!

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