Saturday, January 30, 2010

And Then It Hit Me...

So, the other day we went to the Louvre.

We didn't want to take the kids too soon because we wanted to ease them into the idea that living in Paris is going to mean a lot of time in museums. They were excited to go and see the Mona Lisa, and I got a great book called Louvre Up Close that we brought with us that got them really excited. It's basically a big search and find book with some of the art work from the Louvre in it where they have to find pictures in the details. We spent an hour looking at it before we left, and I loved to see the boys recognize the works we saw from the book even before I did.
When we got there Max wanted to see the Mona Lisa first, and on our way up we had to pass my favorite work in the Louvre, the Winged Victory. It's at the end of this long hallway full of sculptures, and I was really excited for the boys to see it. As we walked up and I had my first glimpse of it, something strange happened.

I started crying.

I know, I know, anyone who knows me well knows I can cry at the drop of a hat, but this was that intense, hard-core crying that kind of sneaks up behind you and tackles you. I actually had to turn away so I could stop. Steve was shocked and asked me what was wrong, and I said, the best I could as I tried to compose myself, "I just can't believe that we're here."

It was right then that it hit me, even though I walk by the Eiffel Tower every day and I've been riding the Metro for almost three weeks and everybody speaks French: I live in Paris.

How amazing is that?

And to be here with my family, to share this with my kids, that was just overwhelming to me at that moment. Crazy.

But it's true, being able to just drop into one of the most famous art museums in the world whenever you want does make you think. One of the students here with us said it best the other day in a status update on Facebook:

"It's weird to think that when we got bored yesterday and had an hour to kill, we decided we might as well stop by the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa. The Louvre is our back up plan..." -- Rich

That's the crazy part of living here that crept up and got me the other day at the Louvre, that we have all this art, architecture, culture and beauty at our fingertips. I just want to say, here and now, that I feel incredibly lucky.

Okay, enough sappiness from me, now onto the photos:

The boys with the Winged Victory, after I composed myself.

Amazing views wherever you turn.

The boys and Steve peacefully observing the art...

...well, at least for a few minutes until the whole thing degenerated into a poking fight.

I wouldn't be a red-blooded American tourist without taking a blurry photo of the Mona Lisa.

My two favorite shots of the day: the boys looking over the sculpture garden and a great combination of the art and the architecture.


Patricia said...

I'm not sure you will want to come home :) :) I love that you are all enjoying Paris & your experience so much. Emotions are a wonderful way of showing us that we are not taking things for granted. Have fun being 'amazed.'

Cha Cha Snow said...

It's true, she does cry at the drop of a hat. And I love her for it.