Posted on | April 1, 2014 | 2 Comments
This morning, I called my mother on the way to work.
While we were talking, she mentioned she’s been thinking about planning a trip and that she desperately wants to see Paris. She joked that my dad wouldn’t want to do the things she’d want to do… that he’d want to sit in a cafe and drink wine and not see the historical sites that she wants to drink in. We talked a little about travel and where we’d both like to go and who we’d like to go with. Then she said “I’ve always wanted to travel with my girls. Just once. Just the three of us. But I know y’all don’t want to go to Paris with me.”
And my heart sort of sank a little.
Because I’ve always wanted to see Paris. I thought about the way I’d see Paris if I went with Banks. I thought about it being the City of Lights, the City of Romance… the city I’ve romanticized in my head for so long that I just assumed one day I’d be there, in a beret, swinging from a light post while holding a croissant. In my imagination, there was a man behind the camera, snapping the picture of me being so joyful in the city I’d always wanted to see. I’ve just… always seen Paris through the eyes of the lover beside me. Through my eyes… through my own steps and wants and cares and loves.
But as my mother spoke, I realized that I could also see Paris through her eyes. I could see Paris through the roll of my eyes at her southern drawl speaking French, through the laughter of my sister, through the sound of our slower steps against the pavement. I could hear us pulling up chairs to a small cafe table, sipping red wine with lunch, and arguing about what was next on the agenda. And I realized that all my life, my mother has sacrificed for me. She has given up her dreams so that I can chase mine; she has done what she can to make my life better… fuller… happier.
For thirty six years.
So I stopped her when she said that we wouldn’t want to go to France with her.
I stopped her with a smile, and announced that we would.
That of course we would.
Because she is our mother.
So just as she has rearranged her dreams and life for me, I will rearrange mine for her. I will see Paris arm in arm, smile in smile, with my mother and sister. Just the three of us. The trip of a lifetime.
A trip for my mother.
And maybe, just maybe, one day when I am 64 and I turn to my own children with my own dream outstretched in my hand, they will wrap their arms around me and embrace it for their own, too.