La Rentrée

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After the August exodus comes La Rentrée, that untranslatable nationwide “back-to”: back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-wearing-shoes-every-day, back-to-setting-the-alarm, back-to-the-metro, and all the other disagreeable things about everyday life.

1st September in the Palais Royal - a few stragglers who are not part of La Rentrée
1st September in the Palais Royal – a few stragglers who are not part of La Rentrée

For those who have stayed in Paris it means queuing at the market, leaving the car in the garage and being packed like sardines in the metro.

For families with children it means the added expense of buying school supplies and paying for extracurricular activities. There may be no uniforms except in select private schools but kids still shoot up 5 cm during the holidays and their feet are always growing.

I remember the first time Jean Michel experienced his own rentrée des classes (back-to-school) when his 16-year old twin sons come to live with us full-time. Mine were 21 and 24 by then so were looking after themselves.

Tension kept mounting as he saw how much time, energy and money were involved. I told him to be patient until the October break after which everything would go back to a normal pace. And it did!

We are having our last rentrée in Paris. No more children to worry about – my son Leonardo is living and working in Berlin maybe on his way to San Francisco, my daughter Black Cat is in New York, having finally got her dream job, and the twins are 25. The future doctor is married and has applied to be an intern in psychiatry in Brest on the western tip of Brittany, and the greenie, having completed a degree in geography, is living in a community near Nantes on the eastern tip of Brittany.

Jean Michel has only 17 more working days until retirement although the move is scheduled for the end of October. After a very slow month workwise, I have just received a rush job for tomorrow (of course) so I shall stop this post right here and wish you une bonne rentrée!

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4 thoughts on “La Rentrée”

  1. It’s back to the old grind for us here too. School starts up tomorrow. On campus, new students are arriving for frosh week, though real classes won’t start up for the rest of us til next week.

  2. Yes I have been thinking of you about to ‘retire’ to Loire! Hope all goes well for J-M and of course you yourself because we all know it is the woman of the house who keeps it together. enjoy your last month(s) as residents of Paris!

    1. Thanks Butcherbird! Every time we take the table out of the little house, I think of the time we spent there together.

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