Home again, home again. Jiggety jig.
I don't actually know the rest of the nursery rhyme but that one line is all that matters, right?
We came back to rainy Lille after a week in rainy Tarn et Garonne and a week in rainy Auvergne. I will write seperate enteries on some of the things we visited because I think it's important to get the word out on the blogosphere when you see something completely awesome and cool. So there are a couple places we visited that definitely deserve their own post.
During our almost 3 weeks away, I spoke more French than I have in months. A few months ago, when I had to give a presentation in French, I noticed that my French was slipping. Although I'm still very much fluent (I don't call myself bilingual but I guess I am), it's not as smooth as it once was. While away, we spent a week with my in-laws, a week by ourselves but chatting to the neighbors, etc and then 3 days with French friends in Paris. And although I always speak English to my family, I had to speak more French than I usually do. During our last dinner in Paris, I was completely out of it, unable to follow the conversation and detached. J kept bringing me back into the conversation, but it was hard. I found it nearly impossible to follow the conversation and even hard to hear the actual words!
I never imagined that I'd live in a foreign country and not speak the language, but that's just what's happening. I could very easily go through an entire day without speaking French (with the exception of a couple senteces here and there). It's a fact that makes me a bit sad because I worked so hard to reach a high level of French (I started French when I was 5 years old). But in the same way that I no longer understand my senior thesis from college on whether a woman can become a Buddha*, today I would also be incapable of writing a thesis in French (which I once did). Language is like any other skill - if you don't use it, you lose it. So, my post vacation resolution is to read more in French. I haven't read a book in French in years, no really it's been a number of years!
With my family visiting for the next couple weeks, there will be an increase of English in the house which is great! But being with my family makes me realize how many Frenchisms I've adopted into my every day language, which is normal since I live in France. But, I trust my mother will be able to work out my English as well as the kids'.
The American in me is so strong these days, that I was picked up by M6 for a report on PAris Plage. Actually, the reporter asked me to speak in English so she could have her report on foreigners at Paris Plage. I just thought it would be cool to get my kids on TV (aka Max tv if you are a self-obsessed almost two year old).
* for the curious, a woman can become a Buddha but first she needs to transform into a man.