Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ski lessons, Herbie and Heidi

It's a baby boom wave. Everyone around us is having a baby - welcome Daniel, Celeste, Paige and Tiago! Boy don't I start to feel older. Plus, my 30th birthday is approaching at a fast pace.

Of course, Juan and I want to have a family. We always have, but it really feels like the right time now. And with all this baby talk, I cannot help but think about the heritage that our child would have. A French mother and an American father. A foodie/writer and a producer/entrepreneur/filmmaker. A stubborn mother and a perfectionist father. Shake it up and what comes out?

Juan and I were raised 5000 miles apart, in different cultures but same ideals. One of the big difference between us comes from the fact that he grew up in American suburbia (big D, Dallas) and I, well, in a small French village (Bouvesse today has about 1000 inhabitants).

I really like to think of myself as a French Heidi, sans the orphan part. The woods were my friends, in which I dreamed to find some kind of secret waterfall. I built tree houses in which I hoped my parents would let me move in. I rode my bike everywhere, and I ate saucisson and pate as an afternoon snack. Yep, that about sums it up!

Maybe not the most ladylike image you can have of a Frenchie, is it?

Looking back, one of the best memories of my childhood in elementary school were the mandatory ski trips we would have every week during the Winter. Only 1 hour 1/2 away, all classes from CE1 to CM2 (which is the equivalent of 1st grade to 5th grade) would ride a bus to the ski resort of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Packed with the lunch my Mom made for me (usually a ham and baguette sandwich, a Vache-Qui-Rit or Laughing Cow, and an apple), I usually headed for the ski slopes with a knot in my stomach.

Ski lessons were imperative -with a licensed ski instructor from the Ecole du Ski Francais or ESF. Because I had a very good level thanks to my Dad and our many ski trips, I was assigned to the group of skillful skiers. And skillful I was, but I was never fond of the humorless old ski instructor who every so often hit us lightly on the head with his pole if we did something wrong. The morning always went better when I discovered that I wasn't the only one in the group who felt nervous with the man. 

But just like anything else, the learning experience was worth the stress and the day was usually topped off with lunch in our half-open ski boots, stealing potato chips from one another and recounting our strenuous but fun morning. The movie series of La Coccinelle (that's Herbie in French) usually entertained our ride back home, in the most quiet school bus you had ever seen.

So sure, Juan never went on school ski trips, nor did he play in the woods, but we both value our rich and diverse childhood memories. It makes for interesting talks and I hope a well-rounded child. In the end, we really complete each other, and that's what I love about us.

No comments: