How to say "to handle things, to manage" in French: gerer
risk in French + an update from Kristi

gaver + winner announced

gaver (gah-vay)

    : to stuff, to fill up

se gaver = to stuff oneself

  ça me gave = I'm sick of it
  je me suis gavé = I outdid myself! I rock! Look how good I did!

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

This morning when I woke up in my daughter's shoebox apartment (140 square feet -- 70 for her and 70 for me), I was as quiet as a mouse. Slipping on pants and a top, and checking and rechecking my keys as I do these days, I carried out the morning routine I've established since we came to Paris 11 days ago: breakfast for my child.

It is as though I have one more year to make up for all the parenting fails I've accrued since my kids came into the world 20 Springs ago. And then I catch myself. I've done the best I could do at the time.

One thing I've learned is that kids use positive reinforcement, too. "Thanks, Mom! That's so nice of you," Jackie says, when I come back with croissants and a surprise -- the chocolate chip pastry with cream in the center.

And I've learned that our kids see things in us that we can only suspect. "You are fragile," Jackie says, when I jump at the littlest things, like the string of shells dangling on our shoebox window.

"It's only the breeze," Jackie points out.

Venturing back to the window, my heart still thumping, I watch the wind carry off the debris of the city, from the Paris rooftops down to the ground and into the gutters, to be washed away by the morning sweepers. Inside my mind a similar sweep is taking place, only I don't know which direction the litter is going in sometimes. 

"Jackie," I say, "pick a number between 1 and 156."

"39," my 17-year-old says. "What for?"

"We are picking the winner of the antique giveaway. Watch," I say, as we scroll down the page, looking to see which name in the comments box corresponds to the 39th comment.

"Ah, the winner is a 'Jackie'! Just like you!"

"Ouai! Je me suis gavée!" my Jackie cheered. 

"Yes, you outdid yourself!" I agreed, reminded, now, of another golden thing kids teach us: to pat ourselves on the backs once in a while.

*    *    *

Postnote: Féliciations to Jackie S. comment number 39 - I will contact you for  your address, and mail your key from Paris.

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

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