L'Etang la Ville, France

The Madamas Meet Sachi

Chez Madama. It’s been two years too long!

I didn’t remember how to take the Eurostar. I couldn’t remember if I had to take out the liquids in my bag, or take my shoes off, or when I was supposed to have my passport to hand, but it I know it didn’t matter. It felt wonderfully familiar to be heading back to France for Sachi to meet our family.

The Madamas take care of Corey and me like they are our parents, but drink with us like peers. And seeing my girls immediately make themselves at home felt too good.

The first day was rainy and cold but the anecdote to that was making cookies with Doreen. We watched Daniel Tiger, sang together, and attempted to walk to a local park but none of the play structures were covered enough to make it fun. Saya and Sachi were smitten with Dee, their dog, and I got to meet David for the first time.

Corey booked his train for the wrong day so he arrived later than planned, but making more cookies solved that immediately. We explored the backyard, met neighbors, and ate a filling midday meal with lamb, green beans, and potatoes.

Saturday, we walked to the local market where Jean-Medard and his neighbors were selling the local beer they’d brewed. Naturally, we taste tested and all three options were take-home winners. The family meal was chicken, sausage, potato salad, and manioc that David brought from Gabon. Everyone had a nap in the afternoon just like Thanksgiving Thursday. The girls did well sleeping in the same room, the inspiration being Sachi waking in the night for just a moment and Saya half-asleep calling out ‘Sachi, I’m here!’ and them both falling comfortably back to sleep.

Riding back into Paris on Sunday, Corey and I were already sorting when we could do the next long day weekend, and I even floated a light-weight plan for Gabon in February 2023 for Doreen and my birthdays! I also can’t wait for the next reunion to welcome back Danae and Mama Margaret, too. The more the merrier at Chez Madama!

L'Etang la Ville, France London, England

LonSum 3.0 June: Summer Soirees

From a historic heatwave to random rainy days, the summer of 2019 kept us on our toes with our new baby girl. Saya shed her jaundiced color, relearnt to nurse after her tongue tie division, and put on weight. We were enchanted with her new facial expressions, and our guests couldn’t cuddle her enough.

Jamie and Matt’s trip introduced Saya-bear to many of her first London sights. We took afternoon tea at the Dalloway Terrace, visited the Barbican AI exhibit, and squeezed in World Cup matches at Kick to watch our women’s team kick butt. Jamie and I always block out sacred sister hangouts, too. This visit featured her zucchini crepes, a staple in her weekly meal plans.

When Jamie and Matt departed for Ireland, Saya and I explored our neighborhood farm, and got to know more of our London friends, Beth, Hannah, and Tata Sam. Lizzie and Marty took us for our first dinner out to Zaffrani and were supportive as Saya had a bit of a melt down. And her primo, Daisuke, read to her for the first time on FaceTime.

You thought June couldn’t get better? Enter Momma Margaret! She took Saya to her first library visit, made her famous potato salad for our summer picnic, and supported our first attempts to give Saya the bottle. Each day, we went out with a small shopping list, and came back with numerous bags 😉 . We hit up ice cream, afternoon tea, and Roman Road. Also, our kitchen couldn’t have been cleaner. Momma Margaret wiped down every crumb from the counter as she sang along to Maze and Frankie Beverly to close out each day.

We took a family trip to France during the hottest weekend in history, right after Saya had a round of vaccinations. We couldn’t have done those days without the help of our village. Generous aperitivos, baked goods, and Sophie’s cooking flowed freely out of the Madama kitchen. I spent some time in a hammock while Saya was in the caring hands of everyone else. Grateful for our family that is looking out for us every step of the day.