We appeared to have made it here in one piece. Miraculously, Mateo recovered from jet lag faster than both of us adults. Right now, it is just shy of five a.m. and both boys are sound asleep. I, however, am wide awake. We rented a studio apartment in Oberkampf that is just freakin' delightful. One whole wall of the place is large, factory-style windows that look over a plant-filled, vine-covered courtyard. It's perfect for us: quiet and quaint and cozy. I'm sitting at the table watching the sun come up while the boys snooze away.
The first adjective that comes to mind regarding Paris this particular trip is HOT. It is just broiling here. I checked the weather and it appears it will let up a bit in the coming days. Thank God for that, because the sticky, stifling heat certainly makes walking around the city less fantastic. That said, it's still beautiful here as always, and the boys and I have had a great time just wandering about semi-aimlessly. Yesterday, we walked from La Bastille to Notre Dame, stopping for a moment to visit the ancient church. Technically not a terribly long walk to adults, but three-year-old legs can't withstand the distance in 96-degree heat, so we swapped turns carrying Mateo. Once we got to the church, Teo seemed more interested in playing with his cars than in admiring the stained glass windows. Oh well.
Here's the thing about Mateo, in case you didn't already know it: he is AWESOME. We have been schlepping him around and making him walk and waking him up and feeding him weird foods... and he's just been good-natured about things. I'm proud of my little world traveler, and tickled to see I am raising a pretty flexible and adaptable little dude.
Yesterday was a huge disappointment for him, however, even though he was completely unaware of it. Through numerous emails, I had discussed with Teo's papa that we were going to be very busy this trip, but that he could have the entire day on Sunday to see that Tates. It was important to me that we maximize our time together, even though this trip is very hectic and busy. Shortly before leaving, I sent him an email asking where and when we should meet. No response. At 8 on Sunday morning, I texted him and said we had made it to Paris, and again asked where we should meet. Still no response.
Fast forward a few hours; we didn't end up hearing from him until 3 pm. He informed me that he would be available at 5 pm. Already, I was shocked at the fact that he hadn't set aside the entire day for our visit, because it's not like we're always in Paris. Through our emails, I thought it had been clear that we were going to spend all of Sunday together. So that was unsettling.
At 4:30, I sent him a note letting him know we were headed to the Jardin des Tuileries for a walk, and that he could meet us there. For some reason, Papa read that as the Jardin du Luxembourg. Each of us spent more than an hour wandering the grounds of separate gardens, only to return home without having met up. Of course, he hadn't brought his cell phone (still not sure why), so my call and texts went unanswered until 7 pm. In the end, he never saw his son. We finally touched base in a very pricey and very frustrating phone conversation, where he suggested we meet him on Tuesday during his lunch break.
His LUNCH BREAK. I was furious. We fly all the way around the world and his solution is for us to meet him on his lunch break? I told him that clearly we were not a priority for him. In my mind, Teo was going to meet his little brother (oh yes, he has one... a story for another day... he is just over a year younger than Teo). Papa was going to spend several hours with him. Grandma might even join in. And instead we get a lunch break? Could he be serious?
What an asshole. Through tears, I told him that the whole thing made me think that maybe it would be better if he just never saw Teo again. He's already hardly present in Mateo's life at all, it might be easier to explain to Mateo a ghost than to get his hopes up that his father might actually participate. How could he not understand that brushing us off is not something to be taken lightly?
He assured me that wasn't the case, that of course seeing T is important to him. I called bullshit on that, as his actions suggest otherwise. When I asked him what he was doing all day, why he didn't respond to me at 8 or 9 am to try to meet up with us, he said, "Well, I worked late last night so I slept in until 11, and then I was doing some stuff on the computer, and so I wasn't even really available until maybe 3:30 or so." Of course, it was the same story as the last year or two of our relationship, and I feel protective enough of my son to not subject him to that same kind of treatment I experienced. You're telling me you couldn't see your son - the one who is only in town for four days and probably won't be back in the country for years - because you were on the computer? WTF?
At any rate, TBD on whether we're even going to see him at all. There is possibly a two-hour window on Wednesday when Teo can meet his brother. That's it. That's all I really care about at this point. As for his father, he can pretty much go to hell.
So that's enough drama for this little trip, and today is the big day when Kathypath weds her almost-hubs. We're going to be attending the civil ceremony later this afternoon... should be exciting. We've got some other hot spots I'd like to visit so that Jeff can know what life was like for me for awhile, but I think we're going to try to take it down a notch. Up next: visit my old stomping grounds, the university, the bookstore. Coffee dates with a few friends and then an afternoon trip to Belgium to see The Little Guy (who is now 13, so not all that little anymore). Thursday, we head out to Normandy for the second half of the Kathypath Wedding Adventure. That should be a great time, and perhaps a wee bit more relaxing than the Parisian leg of this trip.