December 20, 2007

My Mom Is COOL

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Mom was in Paris for the Arabian World Championships at the Salon du Cheval during the second week in December. No horse at the show, she just went to watch. It’s something she has wanted to do for years. And you know what? She did it. (Go Mom!)

When you’ve gone to enough horse shows, you’ll run into people you know at almost any show. And of course, this show was no exception — so Mom had people to hang out with. She has some amazing stories about the parties she was invited to and the international crowd

She and Ed (stepfather) were happily babbling about the trip when I called. They were driving back home from the airport. Ed also enjoyed himself — he was tossing in comments and saying “Tell her about this!”

When I was in France, I was struck by how comfortable the culture felt. On the AirFrance flight to France, my biggest adjustment was to hearing the language. Where did I have culture shock? On the way back: stepping onto the return Delta flight was like stepping back into America. It felt awkward and uncomfortable (a friend of mine suggested that maybe “unrefined” was a good term).

Mom said the culture felt like home to her as well. She didn’t have nearly as much time as she would have liked. One of the high points for her was getting to attend mass at Notre Dame. She couldn’t get over the fact that there were flat panel TVs in the cathedral. She was thrilled to visit — she said she took lots of pictures of flying buttresses, gargoyles and the like. Heh. I probably have the same set of pictures.

She also found a statue of Jeanne d’Arc. (You should hear Mom’s pronunciation. So much better than mine.) Gave me the history of what happened, even remembered the birth and death dates, where she was burned (Rouen, I think), and how she was sainted in the 1500s at Notre Dame.

I asked her how she did with the language (Mom has a teaching degree in French with a German minor but has not used French much). In college she was very shy about speaking French but not this time! She apparently had no trouble ordering or making herself understood. She said a lot of the French came back. You want to know what color car went by? No problem! Like me, she confused tenseses and did better when she didn’t think about speaking.

Mom said she went to some place (couldn’t understand the location Pointe or Porte something?) and that it was built about the same time as Jamestown (mid-late-1600s). Can you imagine standing upon a point that old? she told me. So I told her about le Musee du Moyan Age and the Roman structures in the basement.

Mom said she got to walk around the Louvre (and took pictures of course) but she didn’t get to go in. Mom asked me what Alesia was. She said she saw the word every where and thought it was a travel company or something. I told her the background of Vercingetorix and Caesar (Mom read Gallic Wars in high school) and about the night time raid at Alesia.

I think travelling around Paris with Mom would be a blast. She is a history nut, but different time periods. Stuff I still find interesting. Although if I was at the Louvre with Mom, I’d probably let her go see the fine arts stuff and I’d wait for her in the Gallo-Roman and archaeology sections. We’d probably both enjoy any Egyptian stuff too.

The cool thing about Mom? I can tell her about the Classical stuff and she finds it fascinating. She would love seeing the horse artifacts. How many parents do you know who share their kid’s two major obsessions? (history and horses)

(grin) I love being able to share research and passion with my parents. And yeah I was really proud of Mom for going and having a ball and not letting a language barrier stop her from doing anything.

Yeah, my Mom is cool. I’m really proud of her (and well all of my parents for that matter).

She said that we –Mom, my sister, and I– should all go together next time. It’s a date, Mom! 🙂 My sister has been to France multiple times. It would be a blast to share a trip with her too. Tracie is also into history, too. Her French is much better than mine.

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