We celebrated my son’s second birthday last weekend with a Paris-themed party, complete with Eiffel Tower-shaped cookies and plenty of the delicious food and pastries France is known for. This little guy is obsessed with the Eiffel Tower! Or the “idol” as he adorably calls it. :)
C had so much fun at his party, and I’m so thankful for all of our friends and family who came to celebrate our 2-year-old! But … this actually isn’t a birthday party post at all. It’s a post about the day that Paris was both so close and so far away.
A few weeks ago, we were supposed to be boarding a plane to France, and then a terribly unfortunate series of incidents happened the day before and the day of our departure that ultimately prevented us from traveling abroad. Talk about the worst possible timing. It was devastating.
I spent so much time researching, planning, booking, packing … you name it. I was prepared for a transatlantic flight—by myself—with a toddler. I was beyond thrilled to visit the City of Light and my dear friend who lives there. C and I were looking forward to seeing her after our many video chats working out the details. And I was crushed when I had to cancel our plans and undo all the pieces of a trip that we had our hearts set on. Literally within hours of needing to leave for the airport. I’m such an emotional person, and I was being pulled in many different directions with many different opinions about our trip. In the end, I felt like I let a lot of people down. There’s no graceful way to say this: I spent a lot of the day crying in bed, wallowing in my disappointment. Not my best moment.
I think the worst part is that I got my son so excited to go. He shows me how big he thinks the Eiffel Tower is multiple times a day and lights up when he sees it. “My idol!” he’ll exclaim. I introduced him to macarons before our trip, and now they’re his new favorite. He’s constantly asking for “more mac-roms pease, Mama?” He enjoyed when we would practice the new French words we learned. When we talked about the characters we might see at Disneyland Paris, he would show me what he would do when he saw them—bounce just like Tigger, give Minnie Mouse a hug.
As a mom, it’s heartbreaking to have to tell your child that we’re no longer going to do something that we talked about every day for months. I know he’s only 2 and won’t remember any of it ultimately, but he understands it now. And, in that moment, he was just as upset as I was. Hearing cries of “No, no, Mama. Mama Baby go Pare!” wasn’t easy. (Hopefully you could translate all that toddler speak!)
I do hope to still get to Paris one day. In fact, my husband promised we would and that he would go with us this time, so he better not let us down. ;) I’m so fortunate to have seen so much of Europe already, and Paris is one of the cities I’ve yet to visit that my wandering soul must see. In the meantime, I tried extra-hard to bring a little bit of Paris here for my son’s birthday celebration, and I think he approved! Perhaps he thought we went on our trip after all. :)