Monday, August 18, 2008
The Paris Party
Each year at about this time my husband and I have the privilege of telling a special story to a rapt audience. The main character of the story is a princess--a princess who is childlike, yet wise. She is not perfect, but she is absolutely beautiful, completely captivating, and growing--definitely a true princess and a revelation of God's glory!
Our audience is our children, including the princess herself. The story tells of her birth, how she got her name, and some of the specific blessings and revelations we've received because she is a part of our family.
The day is her birthday.
Our birthday stories give purpose and vital focus to our celebrations, and we anticipate and savor them. However, not everyone who wishes to join our celebrations would appreciate them, so we keep them within our immediate family and host a less intimate party for everyone else. The birthday girl/boy gets to help plan their party, and this year our daughter asked, "Mom, could I please have either a Hawaii Party or a Paris Party?" After discussing possible menus, she settled on Paris, "...because I don't really like coconut that much."
I have no clue where she gained a penchant for Paris. We did actually spend a couple of hours some place in France one evening (when she was TWO!), but have never been to Paris, speak no French beyond the simplest "quiche" and "croissant," and have not studied European countries in school yet. It's been long enough since we read the Madeline stories that she doesn't remember them. And at our house, when the French opted to stay out of our war, "French fries" became "Freedom Fries" and Wal-mart became the lesser of two evils ahead of Target.
But wherever the idea came from, the Paris Party made for a great time this past weekend. There weren't a lot of expectations, so the potential for disappointment was low. The only real guideline was that the Eiffel Tower should somehow be included. Lacking decorations and time to make them, we searched online for photos and printed posters of the Eiffel Tower to hang in the windows. Decorations? Check.
We also just received our DVD of the spring dance recital. We played it in the background since many guests hadn't been able to make it to the recital, and France is an artistic/dance mecca. Mood music? Check.
On sudden inspiration we unpacked the china (THAT's never happened before!) and used it for both our private breakfast (real quiche w/pretend croissants and French roast coffee) and the luncheon "tea party" (hot homemade French rolls, a fresh fruit platter, marinated chicken drummies, frozen Cream Puffs and Eclairs [from Wal-mart] and lemonade/tea). Elegant French cuisine? Check!
Simple, sweet, and uncluttered... Ya, but then came the gifts! About a billion of them! Our extended family and friends may not understand our stories or speak French fluently, but they don't miss a beat speaking the Love Language of "Gifts!"
Hmmm... Paris, the City of...Love?
"Love in any language/straight from the heart/pulls us all together/never apart./And when we learn to speak it/all the world will hear/love in any language/fluently spoken here."