First, the literal: we went to the park today, because Tuesday is about the only day when there are no after-school activities for anyone and we can just hang out. Daughters Two and Three played happily, Baby Girl and I sat and watched (usually BG gets out of her pusshchair and plays too, until she walks in front of the swings and I strap her back in for safety. Today she was content to watch).
Suddenly, simultaneously, and hilariously, every single one of the women in the park started shouting to their charges to COME because we’re LEAVING right NOW. I had BG in her pushchair within seconds. D2 and D3 were bundled into their hooded jackets and I’d tugged up my hood too (what benign deity was watching when we all dressed this morning? Hoods are certainly not a given at this time of year).
Then we joined the veritable flood of people leaving the park and storming up the hill. We weren’t quite quick enough, though, and by the time we’d made it back to the house we were drenched to the skin and D2 and D3 knew a lot more about lightning, thunder, electricity in the sky, and the delay between light and sound being detected. D2 is in her element when there’s science involved, but D3 was tired and a bit scared, so it took all my jollying powers to avoid a misery meltdown. Poor BG was ignominously isolated under the rain hood, which is fortunately broken in such a way that it can be folded all the way over, rather than just reaching far enough to direct all the rain onto her knees. Who designs these things? Not parents, that’s for sure (although the little window in the top of the “correctly”-folded hood is very handy for seeing what the resident is putting in her mouth this time).
Anyway, that was the literal storm. We had baths very early today and then made a tent in the living room in which D2 and D3 ate their supper and made surprisingly little mess.
The figurative storm is not so much a storm as a tidal wave. I’m feeling a shadow of how I felt back in November, when I discovered that somehow the decision to leave uni had been made and I couldn’t remember making it. Because I’m leaving Paris on April 19th.
The trains have been booked, the packing has begun (actually I never unpacked after the weekend away, as I had a hunch this might happen) and the children have been told. They’ve taken it quietly, so quietly I’d be offended if I didn’t know better. I’m swinging wildly between knowing it’s the right decision and being happy about it, being desperately miserable, and not caring either way. Depends how tired I am.
Anyway time to take my painful, hacking cough off to bed to see if another 12 hours of sleep can get rid of it. In the same way that all illnesses start in my throat, they all seem to end there too – this is probably the last gasp of Friday’s stomach flu.