- end of the world by skeeter davis
TUESDAY: Free day
I pressed the shutter button rapidly, shooting photo after photo of my daughter as she giggled and laughed and swung on the swing in front of me. She was adorable, her little wisps of lightly colored hair blowing behind her, her pink bow sitting lopsidedly on the top of her head, her big blue eyes wide and inquisitive. She took after Jac there; my eyes were brown. She had a lot of my features though, features I never imagined seeing in another living creature, a creature that I had created. I loved her with every fiber of my being and I’d do anything for my daughter. Anything.
“Mãe!” She cried – mother in Portuguese. It was adorable. She called me Mãe and Tinsley Mère – mother in French. We were teaching her all of our languages and Natasha was becoming the most cultured baby in Paris. Portuguese from me, French from Jac, Russian from Tinsley, and English from Lissa. She was brilliant.
“Sim, querida,” I replied in Portuguese, a wide smile on my face. I loved taking her to the park and she loved going there too. She was the type of kid who was all over the place, wanted to go everywhere and see everything. She always talked about how much she loved the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe or any other sights in Paris she could lay her eyes on. She always asked when she could visit Mãe’s home country or Mère’s. So curious and so sweet. I wanted to take her back to Portugal, to Russia, but we all decided it’d be best to wait until she was older so she could actually retain the information, remember the trips, and cherish them forever. One day soon, I promised.
Tons of Parisian kids littered the park today, like any other warm, summer day, and a mother watching her son had strayed close to Natasha and I. She smiled kindly at my daughter.
“She’s so cute,” she gushed in French. “What language is she speaking?”
I pulled my eye away from the camera and stood up straighter. “Oh, Portuguese,” I blushed. “I was born there.”
She nodded. “That’s so awesome. Does she speak French too?”
Natasha had stopped swinging and turned to eye the woman. “Oui. French and Russian and English and Portuguese!” She exclaimed. I laughed, rubbing my daughter’s back. She was very smart.
“Oh my gosh, she’s so adorable!” The woman gushed.
“Thank you,” I smiled proudly. Of course, Natasha still had a long way to go. Her oral skills were vastly improving but she still had struggles switching from each language to the next, sometimes wrongly articulating sentences with words from each. Luckily we were also a very cultured family and could understand her jabber no matter the language.
The woman went off after her son when Natasha declared she wanted to leave the park for ice cream. I scooped my daughter up in my arms and began walking towards the farmer’s market down the street.
“Mãe, let me walk!” She cried before I let her down. Her small Mary Jane shoes squeaked against the asphalt as we walked, hand in hand. “Mãe, where’s Mère and Père?” She asked. “And Tante Lissa too?”
“They’re working, querida,” I replied. “You’ll see them later today.”
We entered the farmer’s market as I purchased a small, woven basket from the first vendor. I led Natasha through the street, stopping here and there to buy various fruits and vegetables for our kitchen. Tinsley would be proud to see us then, Tasha picking out plums and apricots to take home to Mère and Père like a proud little girl. She loved her family, I declared, more than they even knew.
And there, at the end of the farmer’s market, stood an ice cream stand. “Mãe, Mãe!!!” She tugged on my hand excitedly, pulling me in the direction of the vendor. I giggled at her before stepping up towards the stand, picking her up in my arms.
“What can I get you?” The man asked as Natasha leaned forward, pointing at the vanilla flavored ice cream through the glass.
“Can I get a scoop of vanilla in a bowl and two scoops in a cone?”
I exchanged our ice cream for a few Euros and began to lead Natasha back in the direction of our home. I ate my own ice cream while she spooned hers and I even paused here and there to take more pictures of her.
She never questioned why Mãe was always taking her picture, and just like her Mère, it was like she was born behind the camera.
(type 'i can't understand' if you read it all)