Thursday, April 19, 2012
Let Them Eat Cake?
So this is why I pay my taxes. A. (and 20 other kids) had their "gouter" - that's French for afternoon snack - at the new village creche that he will attend as of next week. State subsidized daycare (from the age of 8 weeks) and the right to full day pre-school (every child over the age of 3) are the fundamental secrets of low stress French parenting. Simply put, the kids are out of the house a lot longer, and a lot earlier, than in the US. Funny, I was just starting to get the hang of being a mom (now that A. and I can have a conversation about Dr. Suess), and now he's going to forge his own way in the plastic playhouse - as he should.
My mom remembers my first day of school very clearly. Me walking down the flagstone path, Mary Janes on my feet, plastic lunchbox in hand. Now I know why. A. is out in the world now, and if I do my job right - if he spreads his wings as I hope he will - he's never coming back (except for rice pudding and laundry - and hopefully, the occasional bit of advice).
Thoughts of his future girlfriends and career in extreme sports aside, my immediate concern yesterday was to keep my son from giving his American roots a bad name by eating too much cake. He actually gets his love of cake from his French father, but where cultural stereotypes are concerned, you can never be too careful.
Posted by Elizabeth Bard at 2:55 AM