At the lowest point of last year when I could think of nothing whatever to look forward to, I decided rather clinically that the kids needed to be taken to Yosemite, Paris and the Grand Canyon. We crossed Yosemite off the list last fall, and here I am in a fifth floor walkup in the 6e arrondissement, listening to the children chatting and singing in the next room, and marveling at the fact that I actually managed to pull this off.

We are all jetlagged to hell but managed to get out of the apartment for lunch at Deux Magots (the others had baguettes, but I had foie gras), macarons from Pierre Herme (the rose and grapefruit was celestial) and a walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is overcast and hot, and the city is every inch as dazzlingly lovely as I remembered.

The children are stellar travelers, really: troupers about the long flight and willing to try new foods. They unfolded the sofabed together and Julia said: “If I were an only child I would have the bed to myself, but on the other hand, I would not be able to unfold it.”

This is not a low point. Thank you, thoughtful former self.

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