In my earlier post, I noted that my year studying in Paris during college had such a profound effect on me that, when it came time to build my forever house, I felt driven to incorporate a bit of that year into my home.
After that year, it was almost 20 years before I was really able to venture back to Paris. When I landed and arrived back in the Sixth Arrondisement at Place de l'Odéon where my school was, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Even though it had been a lifetime since I was there, it felt like home - all of the feelings I felt and smells I smelled and thoughts I thought came bubbling up from deep inside of me. And, I didn't want to leave because I felt such a deep connection to this little corner of Paris and I didn't know when I would be coming back again. At the same time, that seemed really crazy to me, because it couldn't be farther from home, right??
And, so, for the past few years, we have taking our kids to France for an extended stay.
Just as my relentless childhood vacations to Williamsburg and my year in Paris left an imprimatur on my brain, I can't wait to see what of France will have a lasting effect on my kids.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying you have to take your kids to France to experience this phenomenon. I've just realized the importance of take them somewhere to make a deep connection, a place your family puts on repeat, even if it is to a park or a nearby lake or where ever you used to go as a child. It makes no difference where; it makes a difference that you create a special place. These are the things that truly ground us for the rest of our lives. Because in the end, when our childhood home has changed and everyone has grown up and has children of their own, we all still need a place to go to that feels like home.