French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Saying Goodbye to Zacharie & Luce (Day 365 + 21)

July 21, 2011

Luce & ZacharieIt’s astounding to me the mix of emotions I am feeling as we near our departure date from France (a week from today). I’ll be communicating with someone from Seattle and get all excited to be home. For instance, I talked to my parents by phone yesterday and exchanged email with Steve, a co-worker at PSCS, and felt the build-up of excitement that comes with looking forward to an anticipated event. Then today we were invited over to the house where Chloe did most of her babysitting this year to say goodbye to Zacharie and Luce, the incredibly adorable children she took care of, and Penny, their mother. The profound sadness I felt in saying these goodbyes is palpable.

When we arrived, Penny and the kids had decorated the house, baked a cake, and created a beautiful table complete with strewn flower petals. The kids provided bissous all around, something I will never tire of from children and will desperately miss back in the U.S. Chloe had made special videos for each child of their year together. Since Penny’s DVD player isn’t working, we all came back to our house to watch them. I don’t think there was a dry eye among the older set as we watched. Luce and Zacharie just had ear-to-ear grins watching themselves on TV.

Today’s photo is of the two kids sitting at their table in their house, having just been served cake and grape juice. I snapped this picture just as they clinked glasses. This was a complete surprise to me, watching a 6 year-old and a 4 year-old touch glasses before eating. It was beyond sweet and undoubtedly contributed to the emotion I am feeling tonight.

A year ago today everything was so fresh and new. We were in Pornichet, still 10 days before we would move in to our house in Nantes. We were having fun on our rented bikes. Wow. What an incredible year…
Day 21 (21 July 2010) – Tour De France

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July 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Your post is very touching and beautiful. What a wonderful experience for your whole family – a dream come true and with such special people surrounding you. What a blessing! But, Andy, you and your loved ones deserve it and it is also because of what you and your family are that it has been such a meaningful deep experience. Your friends have also been blessed by your presence and you will be remembered. Thank you so much for letting us participate in your happiness.

    Comment by Linda Taylor | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for such a lovely and supportive message, Linda. It means a lot.

      Comment by Andy Smallman | July 22, 2011 | Reply


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