“There’s another one… make a wish!” said Elizabeth.
“But I don’t know what to wish for,” Maria replied.
France has turned into France. The days are warm, with blue skies…and long evenings. The nights are clear, with millions of stars…
Every night brings more meteor showers – shooting stars zipping across the night sky. One fires over to the left. The other to the right…
We are in a house full of 20 and 30-somethings. Young people… our children… their friends… and friends of friends. Some American… some French… Dutch…
That is the advantage of a rambling country house; it takes in young hearts like a wetland absorbing a spring flood. At night, well after midnight, they sit outside and talk…they laugh…they yearn…
Life is not easy…
“Why does it have to be so hard?” Elizabeth asked, late at night.
“It was hard getting them through school… and then getting the children into college. But this is harder. Maybe it’s because the stakes are higher. This is more serious. It may not matter very much what school they go to… but it matters a lot who they marry.”
On a light summer evening, Elizabeth feels the heavy burden of parenthood. It is not enough to feed, clothe, and educate your children. You must also help to guide them into careers and to families of their own.
“There’s only so much you can do,” said a neighbour. “You can give your opinion… you can try to raise questions…but once you see that your child has made a choice, you have to be quiet.”
“I don’t know about that… ” we replied, “Sometimes you really do know something your children don’t know. You can’t hold back.”
“Oh la la… Daddy… I need to talk to you,” said one of the children yesterday. “I just don’t know what to do. I mean, I like Robert. He’s a lot of fun. But I don’t think he’s “the one”… if you know what I mean.”
We knew just what she meant. There are six or seven (we lost count) young people in the house. They are all looking for “the one.” That is, they are all looking for someone else… One has just broken up with a boyfriend. Another had hoped to marry… but the wedding never took place. One is timid. Another is bold. All are watching the shooting stars… wishing looking… searching…dreaming of moving on to the next stage of their lives.
Love is in the air… and at the dinner table… and who knows where else.
“Well,” said father-knows-best, “nobody can know what you want but you. But you need to figure out what you really want. You’ve got to figure out where you have the ‘main chance.’ And go for it. But don’t get distracted by temptations… If you’re gonna try to take Moscow… don’t send your troops to St. Petersburg.”
“Oh Daddy…this isn’t war.”
“No… but a lot of the same principles apply… If you want something, don’t let other things distract you from the ‘main chance.’
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