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How to say "to handle things, to manage" in French: gerer

GERER (zher-ay)

    : to manage, to handle things

Maman, ne t'inquiète pas, je suis assez capable de me gérer moi-même.
Mom, don't worry. I am capable enough to manage things on my own.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Un petit coucou de Paris.  A little hello from Paris, where my 17-year-old is settling in for her three week stage, or internship. We are staying in a shoebox on the 6th floor of an historic Haussmanian building. The room is slightly bigger than the double bed where we will bunk for the next week, until I am certain Jackie feels confident to live on here own.

But from the looks of things, she is every bit capable of taking care of herself and those around her. I am touched at how she has looked after me, since leaving home together yesterday. It all began at our train station in St Cyr / Les Lecques. The sun was shining down brightly as we stood on the platform waiting for our train. "I'm going to stand in the shade," I said....

"Maman, you have your hat on. You are OK."

I realized she was right, and relaxed as the train pulled up. But when we stepped abord, there were no empty seats. Struggling with my luggage, I began to panick. "Maman, stay there", Jackie said, quickly scouting for a seat. Next she directed me to a side chair where I could sit with my bags bundled beside me in the passage way. What luck to have a place to rest on a crowded train.

Arriving in Paris, Jackie shepherded me out of the train station and reminded me to call UBER. We would not be using the metro when we had heavy bags to lug. We ended up taking the first cab we saw, and when I asked the cabby to stop at an ATM so I could get cash to pay the ride, Jackie said, "I think I can cover it." She handed the cab driver 10 euros and presto! there we stood in front of our apartment.

Today at lunch I ordered a little flan de courgette for lunch. "Maman, have a cup of soup, too," Jackie suggested.

"No. This is all I want," I said, only to realize how hungry I was later. Jackie hailed the waiter, "On voudrais commander une deuxième soupe, s'il vous plaît," and just like that, everything was taken care of. 

At this point in my story, you may be wondering why a 17-year-old girl is making such snappy decisions, when her mom should be calling the shots.  Briefly, I have not been myself lately. It is a combination of things and it will surely pass. Meantime, seeing my daughter spread her delicate wings and fly--taking me along with her--is the best Mothers Day present any one could ask for.

I'm going to be taking a little time off from the blog, but I will be back for a weekly check-in, whether with a story or with a photo. Meantime, I am posting pictures from Paris on my Instagram gallery and at Facebook. I hope you will stop by and enjoy them, and click the follow button to see tomorrow's photos, too!

Warmest wishes from Paris,

P.S. Very sorry about the lack of photos in this edition. Having technical difficulties. Please click on the Instagram or Facebook highlighted links above for today's pictures, including the magnifique bouquet Jackie just presented me with, here in our cozy boîte à chaussures in Paris.

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Ronald Michael Holden

Oh no, Kirisi, I hope you recover soon.

Ally Davis

Kristin - I hope you will be feeling better soon. You will be in my thoughts and take care of yourself .

GwenEllyn Anderson

Take care, Kristin! I am charmed by the young adult spreading her wings in your presence. I think often parents don't get to witness these moments that you have described.

janine cortell

One day at a time. Treat yourself well. I will be thinking of you. XO Janine

Joy Bryden

Dear Kristin, bless that darling daughter of yours, and do take care, we will miss you but want you fully yourself as soon as you can be!


My husband & I have been staying in an apt in Paris for the past month. We go home Wednesday- it has been wonderful! I like to think of you here in the city right now, to. We went to Shakespeare & Co. the other day and I was telling my husband about how proud I was of my favorite blogger, person, who had a wonderful reading there! Have a wonderful time with Jackie and enjoy being taken care of! Wish her well in her endeavors! I wonder where you are in the city...hopefully you will get better weather in next few days!


Feel better, Kristin, and enjoy your time in Paris! You are in my thoughts.

Joy Eballar

I think I understand how you are feeling Kristin. Your mom went back home, daughter off for a few weeks, life is going by so fast. I went and still do go through this. Good to take time for yourself, rest, take care of You. Thinking good thoughts for you. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. <3


Going to Paris is always a good idea and especially with your daughter when she is spreading her wings. You must be so proud of her and she of you. You are precious to us all - take care of yourself and return when you feel good. Nancy

Sue Lennox

You are missing your own Maman...


Kristin -

Whatever ails you I pray will pass. To read your words, tinged with a sense of fatigue and some sadness, is difficult. I'm certain we are all thinking of you!


edie schmidt


You have a lot on your plate right now.
Loved the pictures of your mom. She seems like quite a lady! Glad your pup is tumor free. Sounds like your kids are off to doing exciting things, but that's also bittersweet for you to see them grow and go!Enjoy your time in Paris.
That's a lovely city.
I just read a most interesting book "The Secret Life of The Seine" by Mort Rosenblum about his travels on the River on a houseboat. You might enjoy it.

Edie from Savannah

Agnès Gros

Take it easy and enjoy every moment. Then you will be fit to still entertain us... Happy Mothers' Day and lots of love from Marseilles


Best wishes that you will be feeling good again very soon Kristin and that Jackie will enjoy her internship in Paris.
PS. I am NOT wondering why Jackie is making snappy decisions and her mom is not calling all the shots - that is as it should be! It seems to me that you have given her nice strong wings to spread!!

Susan Carter

Bon fete de mere and hope you feel 100% very soon. I'm already missing Paris and have only been home for 10 days.

Jackie Clark Mancuso

enjoy a week in paris!


I hope you are ok, and nothing bad is going on health wise. I hope it is just empty nest syndrome, on top of missing your mom and worry about Smokey. Things will get better and you will discover new loves in your life and new relationships with your children. You will discover new outlets for your creative energies. Give yourself time and grace to make the necessary adjustments. I cut back on my load for a few months when going through some similar things about eight years ago, and I am glad I gave myself permission to do so. Treat yourself really well for awhile!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."

When you pass a church or cathedral on your walks through Paris, look closely at the stained glass windows...especially at dusk or at night. Doing so reminds me of this quote ~

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light frnom within."

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

May your inner light continue to glow...

Linda Karber

Dear Kristi,

I so look forward to reading about your advenures as well as your life at home with Jean-Marc. Rest up and enjoy your time with your beautiful daughter in Paris this week. Maybe you can enjoy my favorite drink, a citron pressé at a nearby sidewalk café and watch the world scurry past as you recharge.



Your blog followers (AKA extended family) are concerned about you and hope that you are feeling better very soon. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers as you mend from not feeling well, leaving your daughter in Paris for her internship and saying good-bye to your mom. Agree with Stephanie above - treat yourself well for a while.


Kristi, take good care of yourself. It's great that you could spend French Mothers' Day with Jackie, and even better that you can see what a smart and capable young lady she is becoming...thanks to her smart and capable parents. Enjoy your visit and you'll have lots of positive thoughts coming your way from all over the place!

John P Senetto

Hi Kristin, I hope you feel better real soon. Best wishes, take care of yourself.


Dear Kristin, I too feel saddened to read the note of sadness and concern in this blog. Will keep you in my thoughts and my prayers. What a blessing to have such a sweet and competent daughter. I get the feeling she is going to be just fine. Take care of yourself. Ophelia

Jan Greene

Yes, kristin, this is your extended family saying "slow down". This has been a transition time for you and your fsmily. Time to rest and re-set is surely in order! Take your time! Jan

catharine ewart-touzot

How lovely to be able to spend this time with your daughter

Karen Cafarella

Sending you lots of hugs and love!

Nancy Gilbert

Dear Kristi,
Please do take care of yourself. Be sure that there is not a medical reason for not feeling as well as you usually do. Then just be good to yourself! Nancy


I send you my regards, Kristi, and hopes for your well-being and good health, too. You are in my thoughts this week.


Tout va bien et tout va biens et enfin...toutes choses seront bien!


Hope you feel better so. We all have those moments. Enjoy relaxing in Paris. It is a nice feeling when our kids can finally do something for us after all we have done for them.

Take care


Dear Kristi- hope that you are OK. I know you have had lots going on. But I can't help but wonder, since I have seen no is Smokey. I have been so worried and hoping for good news. Please keep us posted.

Cynthia P. Lewis

Dear Kristin,
You have given so much of yourself to your wonderful family, to your many,many friends and to FWAD for many years nonstop. I'm glad to know that you are going to take more time for yourself. Try not to worry about the little things or the big things either. We shall all enjoy your photos; I feel that taking them is a joy for you. You have become a special part of my life, too, and I shall look for your photos and think of you often. My best wishes...
P.S. I was touched by Jackie's concern and care for you as you traveled to Paris. Enjoy your stay with her and please tell her to have a fabulous internship!

Gill Dengel

Having been there............, I know how much the combination of a much-beloved ailing dog and the 'empty nest syndrome' can pull you down........... Hang in there....., and breathe....., breathe...........

Avril Rustage-Johnston

Kristin, I feel in need of Jackie right here beside me, to say 'ne t'inquiète pas, Avril', as I worry about your health.
Take all the time you need, then take a little more. We will be waiting here patiently for your return.
Bisous. Avril Rustage-Johnston

Diane Young

Chere Kristi,
Isn't it great to know how many loyal readers are praying for you to feel better and assuring you that your little chickadee will be fine. We all love you and know good times are ahead.


Please know that we are praying for you,our dear Kristi.
God will help you and all WILL be well.
You always wrap us in hugs;now please let us wrap you in ours.
We send comfort and courage to get through this.
Natalia XO


Thinking of you Kristin and hoping you feel like yourself again soon. <3


You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Eileen Burns

Dear, dear Kristi, Please rest and be well. You too will find that you are capable enough to manage things on your own. All of our best wishes, Eileen and my dad, Jack (who is doing beautifully!)

Joan Gracie

Dear Kristi, relax and enjoy your the time with your daughter. You have had a lot of stress lately. Jackie sounds as caring as my daughter Joanne. Let her take care of you in Paris. Hope you are feeling better soon. Sending lots of hugs, Joan


Just wondering about Smokey?
What's the future looking like for you blessed baby boy?
You all be safe in Paris!

Trina, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA


Your photos on Instagram are so very lovely.

It seems like Jules just arrived!

All the best to both Max and Jackie. You have given them roots as well as wings.

I can only imagine how your heart is a flutter ... your offspring going off on their own, precious Smokey's health concerns, and Jules again on her way. You must convince her to move to France as her home base!

What a lovely quote shared by Chris! Yes, your light continues to shine.

May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you live in peace.

Kathleen from Connecticut


Take care of yourself and Jackie will do the same. She is a big girl now and will do fine in Paris. But must take care and be healthy. Our prayer s are with you. Maybe the loose of busy time has affected your and others.


Nancy Stilwagen

I am sending you good thoughts, Kristin, and wish you a speedy recovery from whatever you are dealing with.

Yolanda Litton

Kristin, I am sending you good thoughts. Take good care of yourself. I think as mothers, we feel things a bit deeper and stronger. You have such a lovely and loving family. I hope all is well with you soon. You should be proud of the your two grown-up children. There is more to be enjoyed....just in a different way. I do so love your blog and beautiful pictures.


Dear Kristin,
Enjoy yourself and relax. The three weeks will be over before you know it. As your daughter will grow from this experience, so will you.
Peace be with you.


Thanks for your latest blog, all about your lovely daughter and her starting out on her new adventure. What a lovely young woman she is. Please take good care of yourself. I know there must be much on your plate right now; I cannot imagine. I will keep you in my thoughts and I wish only the best for you. I loved looking at your pictures on Instagram. You are a fabulous photographer.

Evelyn L

Kristin, I send you my very best wishes. Pamper yourself, dig in your beautiful garden, go to the beach and we, your faithful readers, will be here when you return! xox

Barbara Watts

Bon courage Kristin! Tout le monde prie pour vous. Bon rétablissement.

Audrey Wilson

Take your well earned break Kristin . We ,who are Mums ,have experienced these feelings. Now as a much okder person than you I delight in the fact that my middle- aged children still phone me reguarly, email me often & keep me posted with photos of my grandchildren, all far flung
Your children will always treasure your love & care .
From finding your photos ,eventually, on your FB Timeline,I see your Mom had a ball ! What a vibrant & lovely lady she is !
Bon Courage! mon ami

Heather in Arles

Look at all this beauty coming to you Kristin, so much Love. I am adding my own and a dose of Strength too. You are an amazing woman with such a generous heart. Know that we will all be thinking about you until your return.

And as for Jackie? I love it that she is feeling right at home in the City of Light. I moved to NYC when I was her age and it was an amazing experience. Plus, she has her internship in couture! Exceptional. It says much of her talent and her confidence, much of how you raised her.
Gros, gros bisous and a warm American hug,

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for your generous support via these loving and warm-hearted messages. I am deeply touched and grateful for your friendship, indeed so thankful  for this extended family that you all are. Amicalement, Kristi


Hi Kristin,

Enjoy your time with Jackie and what a wonderful daughter she is! I loved the flower bouquet she gave you for Mother's Day!

I wonder if you are feeling a bit out of whack because your Mom just left, Max is going to Portland and Jackie will soon be on her own. It will pass, but I know what an adjustment it is. Thinking about you and hope you are back to your old self, or young self! :-)

Vicky from Athens

Kristin - When Richard Winter was leading the men of Easy Company through Normandy in WW2 he had a short phrase that he always said to his men. "Hang tough!" So I'm telling that to you now . . . hang tough!


What a blessing Jackie is to you!! Life is changing and sometimes we don't change as quickly along with it. be patient with yourself, and gentle!! It's OK! Give yourself permission to process it lol and grieve a bit for the way things used to be. Max is off to Oregon, Jackie to Paris, Mom back to Mexico. Time to make new fun plans with your husband and look at the "I've always wanted to..." list. You are preparing for an empty nest and it is an adjustment, but you will fly and thrive! You will always be much loved and very needed! Take this delicate time of mixed feelings, self reflection, etc. and don't forget to journal and pour it all out privately on paper. Much love from sunny Phoenix!!

Susan Dautel

I add my virtual hug to all the others posted. You brighten the day for so many others--hope you can get a warm little glow back from your readers now when you are in need of comfort.


Kristin, I'm thinking of you and Jackie. She sounds very grown up and ready to take on the world with a big smile on her face, hiding any trace of nervousness. I also imagine what a challenging time this must be for you. Please remember to trust and focus on one step at a time. Time is a wonderful healer.

Nancy Lobalbo

Keeping you and Jackie in my thoughts and prayers! xo Nancy L.

Pat Cargill

Thinking of you, dear one, be well. Hugs...

Irene Thomas

My thoughts go with you, Kristi. Take care of yourself. Thank you for your beautiful blog.


I echo the sentiments of all your other " virtual " must feel like life is swirling with change as Max flies to Portland, Jackie to Paris and your beloved Jules back to Mexico. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup, recharge, and then resume with your usual vivre! We will all be here when you feel refreshed enough to resume.


Dear Kristin,

I hope that you are ok. Enjoy your time with Jackie - she has turned out to be an accomplished and beautiful young woman! In the meantime I am enjoying all of your photos!Thank you for all that you share with us.xo

Joan L.

Like everyone else, wishing you well...


Take good care!


I understand you are not up to par for several reasons. Travel is difficult when you are at your best. Even a short trip to Paris is enough to put you off balance. It is wonderful that you are able to let go and have Jackie take charge at this vulnerable time. Be gentle with yourself and take some time off to get better. I am not at my best these days and need to take my own advice.

Joyce Mazalewski

Kristin, I am so sorry that you are having a difficult time. I will miss you but I also understand that everyone needs to take a break sometimes. Rest and relax and come back to us when you are able. Take care of yourself.

Eileen Preston

This too shall pass Kristin. Hang in there you are stronger than you know!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks again for these very comforting words! What a gift each and every note here is. Merci beaucoup.

Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles

Happy I get to see you on Monday and give you a squeeze! <3

Lynn at Southern Fried French

At lunch today in Burgundy at a restaurant by the Saône, we were 14, and the subject of your blog came up. Almost everyone at the table reads it (except Pierre, who speaks not a word of English, so we explained it to him at length), and we all felt like we were talking about an old friend, since your blog is so intensely personal. And we were all a bit worried about you. Whatever is difficult in your life at the moment, I hope it will pass. I would say you have a rather large support group behind you! Bon courage et gros bises.

Kristin Espinasse

Lynn, your notes makes me realize there are so many hidden angels out there. Thanks for the evidence and please hug them for me next time you see them.
And encore merci to all who have left a bon courage comment. I so appreciate it.


Let me add to the zillions of well-wishers. Enjoy the special bonding time between mother and daughter and rejoice at how competent she has become under your guidance and fine example.

Andrew Rooney

The snow goose
need not bathe
to make itself white.

Neither need you
do anything
but be yourself.


Take care Kristin

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