There is an old historic oil rig in our town. The tall structure is wide at the base and tapers off up at the top. I have never given it much thought until one day Elise excitedly pointed out the window and asked,"Is that the Eiffel Tower?!!" I laughed and explained to her that the Eiffel Tower is far away in the city of Paris and the country of France.
My children both have caught the Francophile bug, something that I have done nothing to quiet. I share with them information about the rich history, art and culture of France. Cordelia told me, probably remembering some previous discussion we'd had, that she would rather go to Paris than Disneyland any day. When I asked her why she felt that way she explained that Disneyland would be really fun as a kid, but Paris would always be special to her.
I consider myself to be fairly well versed in all things French. I took a lot of courses in undergrad and grad school, nurturing my love for a rich and vibrant culture. I have always dreamed of going back with our daughters. Somehow my dream has become their dream as well.
The events of yesterday are breaking my heart. I am so very sad for the individuals who were hurt, the families of those killed, the children who are now growing up with a new fear. I am sad for those who were so broken/confused/wrong to think that they were making a powerful choice when they hurt and killed others and themselves.
I am taking comfort in the knowledge that we are still collectively terrorized and that this hasn't become something we ignore. We know it will happen again in some form in another place, and we will be horrified again, because this isn't our nature...this is what broken people do.