In my heart I truly hoped that Andrew and I would be able to stay in France for the length of a full school year.  That dream has been lovingly altered.  Andrew is back in the United States.  My baby “toughed” it out here in France with me for 3 months.  I commend him for being brave and withstanding the challenges that were thrown at him daily.  A new country, new language and new school would be overwhelming for most adults, but my little boy handled it.  Sometimes he managed well other times the obstacles overtook him.  Either way I am still so proud of him.  He has learned a few french words and terms.  He can eat a baguette with the best-of-them.  He can find a French fast food joint without the help of a GPS.

Andrew endured the long tram, bus and eventually car rides.  He withstood the play yards and more often than not, played by himself — because no other child spoke English.    He was his Mommy’s daily dinner companion.  I will miss him.  In so many ways Andrew made this trip to France possible.  It was our desire for him to gain a larger perspective of the world that inspired the trip to include him.  It was his education that was at the forefront of deciding where we would live.  It was our concern for him that encouraged me to connect with American women who live here.  That connection has transpired into at least two amazing new friendships.  It was concern for him, that inspired others to be good to us since we’ve been here in France.

During this trip Andrew and I fought, cried and rejoiced together.  There were some parenting challenges that brought me to my knees.  For him, I am sure there were some moments with his mother that he would choose to forget.

I discovered some things about him and I discovered more about myself.  I trust that these new discoveries will enhance our relationship in a positive way.

I will miss him each day I continue to stay in France in his absence.  Knowing that I of course will be reconnected with him back in New Jersey gives me some solace.  But this was a journey we started together.  We surmounted the obstacles together as a team. I will miss my pint-sized partner.

Click below to see a video memoire of his time in France

Andrew in France Retrospect.