Throughout the morning, all I could think was-
to be in France, America is everywhere.
We started the day at the American Church of Paris and my first thought was- this is what America is supposed to be. The congregation is multicultural, English is spoken with many accents, everyone is open and inclusive, a biracial couple baptized their child, and we all worshipped together.
Afterward, we crossed the river to walk toward the Arc de Triomphe- May 8 is Victory in Europe Day celebrating Germany's defeat in WWII. The french refer to it as Huit Mai which means 8 May and most do not treat this as a big event-hmmmm. But: we walked up Avenue Franklin Roosevelt (there is also a metro stop bearing his name), across Avenue du General Eisenhower toward the Champs Elysee where they were having their first pedestrian-only Sunday after a parade.
Then, back across the river to the Centre Pompidou- another amazing rooftop view, another amazing permanent collection and another temporary exhibit to introduce us to a new artist.
Again, so much to process, so much to see, so much to learn. Camille, Pete, and I were talking as we walked today about who the smartest people we know are. Several names were thrown out but ultimately, we agreed that our neighbors, Art and Marilyn Holder, were probably at the top of the list. Not because of their diplomas or degrees (although those are impressive), but because they are lifelong learners. They read, travel, go to book clubs, take classes- we agreed that it is the pursuit of knowledge over a lifetime, not for any job/profession or test, that makes you well rounded, engaged and well-educated.
If anything at all comes of this "Semester of Enrichment" we have been given, I hope it is that lifelong pursuit of knowledge- the curiosity- that stays with my children. They now know that they are responsible for their education, more so than any teacher, parent or institution and they are making the most of it! Now that is a Mother's Day present.