Soyons fous! A Mother-Daughter Trip to La Côte d’Azur
Bonne rentrée: Happy return to work or school (or a new fall season)

Faute de Frappe: Funny Surprise After My Dad Hits the Wrong Button

Autumn fall leaves salon de the in lyon france
By the time the leaves turn gold in Lyon, we'll be meeting up with part of my American family. Read about our virtual meetup in today's story, and pick up a host of new French words.


    : typing error,
    : error made when hitting the wrong button

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

I wish I had a written transcript of our accidental family video chat, week before last. The surprising live conference began when my dad tried ringing me via Messenger and, d’un coup, several family members burst onto the screen--POP! POP! POP!--one by one appearing before us en temps réel...

POP! - My little sister manifested from her living room in Washington State. I could almost hear the crabs snapping their claws on Shaw Island where Kelley and her husband Brad (also visible) catch them.

POP! - And there was my daughter in Lyon, hair tied back and wearing stylish non-prescription glasses. Was she at school?

POP! - Then suddenly my husband popped onto l’écran! Beyond Jean-Marc's seatbelt, just past his left shoulder, I could see the familiar landscape of the Southern French Alps as he drove north for a week of hiking and biking. 

These sudden POPS were followed by a couple of POTENTIAL POPS as Jules, Heidi, Max, my nephew Payne, and niece Reagan were being automatically dialed up in La Ciotat, Denver, and Boulder. Mon Dieu! I felt the need to warn my mother and my sister of their imminent exposure. Au fait.... Was Mom entirely dressed? (Slim chance in this heatwave!) And Heidi…Just where would she be? Hopefully not in the W.-C.! No use transferring my own insecurities onto others--besides it was too late, here we were, THE ORIGINAL POPS, staring at each other, wondering what the heck had just happened. Indeed, qu'est-ce qui vient de se passer?

"Hi Dad. Hi Everyone!" I giggled. “Dad, did you accidentally hit the ‘Family’ tab?” (That's the name of our Messenger chat group. We use it for sending each other photos, updates, and milestones. But this time, with his unintentional frappe, Dad was teleporting his kin into a live conference!)

"I don't know,” my father replied, in his characteristic innocence and étonnement. “I was just trying to call you." Dad was referring to our weekly appel, the one he’s affectionately dubbed "Coffee with Kristi”, but today's call with all the gang was more like Happy Hour! All we needed was champagne… and sparkling water pour moi.

As we smiled at each other, a little tongue-tied from the surprise, Brad chimed in with news about his and Kelley's upcoming visit to France, and would Jackie be available to dine with them in Lyon? 

Jackie lit up, "Oh, I’d love to! Avec plaisir!" And just like that the screen came alive with conversation.

I sat back and enjoyed seeing my family’s faces, thinking it amazing how quickly we’d all showed up to this unscheduled party. And how easy it would be to reach everyone again if ever in need or—soyons fous!—just spontaneously.

Maybe that’s what Dad was thinking when he “accidentally” hit the wrong button and POP! POP! POP! POP! he got a sudden burst of smiling faces in return. It all just goes to show that, sometimes, it pays to throw caution to the wind… and hit the Family Button.

This one's for you, Dad, OUR ORIGINAL POP❤️.  

To leave a comment, or to read one, click here. My Dad, who is hopefully reading, enjoys a brief weather report so please include one along with the city you’re writing in from. Merci. Click here to comment.

Dad and family
Une faute de frappe led to everyone in this picture (except Max) being virtually teleported into our live video conference. Left to right: Max, Dad, Brad, my belle-mère Marsha, Jackie, Kelley, Me, and Jean-Marc. 

Below: A screenshot of the message I sent after our chat ended. (Re “Marsha joined the chat”: Dad shares his account with my belle-mère Marsha.)

Screenshot of video chat


Click here to listen to the French words

une faute de frappe = a typing error
d’un coup = all at once, in one go
en temps réel = real time, instantly
l'écran = computer, phone screen
Mon Dieu! = My God!
le W.-C. = water closet (bathroom)
au fait = by the way
Qu'est-ce qui vient de se passer? = what just happened?
un appel = phone call
l’étonnement = surprise
pour moi = for me
avec plaisir = with pleasure
Soyons fous = be a little wild, be a little crazy
la belle-mère = stepmother


Mille mercis to the readers listed below who have recently sent in blog donations, or purchased our memoir--or bought postcards! Your contributions go a long way in not only backing this journal but also in inspiring me to maintain my writing momentum during the summer break. Your support means a lot, and I'm truly grateful. Amicalement, Kristi

Sue W.
Joan C.
Joan L.
Patty C.

Leslie B.
Judith L.
Sandra D.
Kitty W.P.
Suzanne P.
Jacquelin H.
Marshall & Caroline M.

"Our dear Kristi, wishing you & Jackie many more delightful getaways! xox" Patty C.

"…avec des câlins pour la façon dont vos splendides écrits nous enrichissent." Kitty W.P.

My son Max, up to his usual shenanigans--cuz Mom can't have enough hats!

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What a beautiful story to have 'pop' into my inbox! It is so precious to have family time of any sort - our lives seem so busy and we are so focused on tasks rather than people it seems. I am also reminded of my mum and the WhatsApp group she is in with her 9 siblings. They range in age from nearly 90yrs of age down to nearly 70 yrs of age and they regularly gather on WhatsApp to catch up from 3 different continents (North America/Canada, Hong Komg and Australia). What a blessing!

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Deborah, It is exciting when the first comment pops in, as you say, and yours really brings a smile. 

It is so true about how we get caught up in tasks--this leads us to believe that others are we become reluctant to reach out.

I love reading about your Moms regular Whatsapp meet with her 9 siblings. So inspiring! 

Dee D.

I really enjoyed your post today Une Faute de Frappe! It brought a welcomed smile reading about your family connection while acknowledging how I miss my own family since relocating from the US to Germany recently. I also laughed inside thinking about my father (who passed away a year & a half ago) and his lack of technology skills. I could totally envision him making the same mistake!
Maybe it is time my family had a POP of our own, eh?

Merci et bonne journée!

Trina in St. Petersburg, FL, USA

What a delightful story!

And, you have more than one sister? At first reading, I thought Heidi may have left Colorado & moved to Washington state. Oh, you must explain.

PS It's his & Kelley's, not he. An easy way is to say the sentence without the "and whoever" and see how it would sound correct.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
Sounds like a fun and happy time! It's amazing how something so spontaneous brought you all together!
I love the photo of you and Max!

Suzanne in Monroe, NJ

What fun! Soyons fou!!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Trina. I will try to remember that tip next time. So helpful.
I grew up with Heidi, in Arizona. I saw our little sister every summer, which was not often enough. We got together with our Dad last August (there should be a story in the archives for that month, august 2022).

Kristin Espinasse

Update—It was the September archives, and this post:

Trina in St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Thanks for the link, Kristi. How did I miss that one?! And a painting of Smokey, too!

Kristin Espinasse

Aw, de rien! Thanks for taking the time to visit the page. The painting is by Judy Feldman. I love it so much. 

Sarah LaBelle

A good chat with family, mainly awake at the same moment.
For your Dad, it is a lovely day, today Thursday, in the Chicago area, sunny and comfortable in the 70s.

The forecast says it will heat up above 90 degrees F on the weekend and into next week. It is Labor Day weekend coming up, as Monday September 4 is Labor Day.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Eileen 💕


I LOVE this story about your Dad (possibly) inadvertently hitting the Family Button and your family suddenly having a fun Zoom chit chat (barvader). We are a very close-knit family that loves to Zoom one another (one family at a time). But your full family conference call is the best ever!!! Enjoy these serendipitous occurrences! Good going, Dad!


Our dear Kristi,
This post is a gift and the only bigger ones are you and your family!!
Most of my mine have passed, left an empty void,
and now thanks to you, am feeling a wonderful
hug from all of our cherished ones reunited!
Merci ma chere!!
Love and blessings!
Natalia. Xo


I love this post! Nothing better than family get togethers; and how amazing that technology has made intentional and spontaneous and even accidental meet-ups possible. I’m in Oregon. Today was our first rain in 73 days! We need it because like everywhere, we’ve had to many (trop de) Forest fires. So hurray for the rain!

Karen in Northport, NY

Thanks for today's smile. Yeah, my extended family have resisted video calls so far. Nobody wants to "check a mirror" before answering. But too bad, it would be great to have little reunions from time to time. Nature is still being kind to us here. Beautiful weekend coming up with a touch of cool fall air. I was out last night enjoying the Blue Moon. Just delightful. Going into our peak tropical storm season. May the kindness continue.

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