|A lone seagull in flight at Cape Cod.|
Stephane is in a different time zone in Beijing, which means that his nightly telephone calls always catch me at odd times -- like in the dressing room in TJ Maxx or the make-up aisle in CVS. Since the connection between the other side of the world and Boston is invariably bad, our conversations consist of me hissing private information in a loud voice that ends up being overheard by almost everyone else in the store:
St: How's your visit with the kids going?
MK: Fine. They keep telling me how to behave.
St: What do you mean?
MK: Yeah, we're going out for dinner with some of their friends on Wednesday and they told me that I'm not supposed to be "snooty". That and something else I can't remember.
St (chuckling): Oh, no! You can't remember. That doesn't sound good.
MK: I know! (as I search my jet-lagged brain trying to recall the flaws that are so obvious to my children but invisible to me). But I'm not snooty, am I? I just mentioned that a French waiter wouldn't have brought us the wrong bill like the American waiter did the other night.
St (laughing): It's true. The Parisian waiters are very good once you know how the system works.
MK: Well, I better go. I can't really talk right now.
By the time I get to the check-out counter, I can tell that the cashier and all of the other customers sympathize with my children. They're eyeing me with suspicion because they overheard me say that I think that Parisian waiters are superior to American ones. I slink out the door feeling like a blasphemous traitor - I'm in Boston after all, the birthplace of our nation, and complimenting the French!
When did I become my mother - or better yet, when did my children become me? I have to laugh at their admonishments because they echo the conversations that I used to have before introducing my mother to my friends, who always thought she was wonderful.
Let's just hope that I remember the other thing that I'm not supposed to do at dinner tonight! Meeting the people who are important to Sara and Philippe is turning out to be one of the unexpected bonuses of being a mother and I don't want to disappoint them. I like flying in a flock!
|The beach near Falmouth, Cape Cod.|