Moving On Up (To the 5th Floor)

May 31, 2010

This is a final look at my room containing all 9 months of its belongings. I took my stuff over to the new apartment today, and while the couple I’m renting from are absolutely wonderful, and so welcoming, I am still heartbroken that I am leaving my ‘real’ French family for the last time tomorrow morning.

In the kitchen today joking and laughing with Ariane and Côme, it hit me: I’m never again going to be able to call this apartment my home. It’s not that they’re kicking me out or abandoning me-I’m still planning on seeing them semi-frequently and my host mom has invited me to spend more weekends at the country home this summer. But I’m forever after going to be a guest and not a resident in this home. I got teary multiple times today, and this is just because of moving out; I’m not even leaving Paris yet!

There are just lots of little things that I’ll miss. My nightly after dinner talks with my host mom, Tiburce’s insistence on pushing me and my kitchen chair all the way into the table when he needs to walk past to get something from the fridge, Côme’s French hip-hop dinners, and Théophane and I’s late night or afternoon Nutella snack breaks…and what’s Ariane supposed to to when she needs to borrow my black heels (and who else in France could make me laugh as hard as she does?)

It’s a good thing that I’m moving out first before heading home to the States. I’ll have a month to get used to not seeing them every day. No more texts from all of them saying “a table” when dinner’s ready. No more taps on my door from Madame with clean laundry, Ariane asking about an outfit, Côme wanting help with English homework, Tiburce needing something from the storage closet in my room, or Théophane coming to say goodbye before running back to boarding school.

Ultimately, I am so happy that leaving them is this hard. It’s exactly what I wanted from my host family. I wanted a real family, and that’s what I have. They are so different from my expectations, and so much better! Thoughts of coming back to Paris to visit are already forming, and they’ve been so good to me that I know every time I do come back they’ll be happy to see me, each in their own different ways. I had the host family experience that every kid wants, and now it’s time to move out into the big, beautiful city to try living more on my own in the 8th. But I know that if I need it, I have a soft place in the 6th to fall!

Adieu from the l’ancien apartment, but à bientôt from le nouvel!

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