Sunday Sketchbook: Paris

by Susan Abbott

An artist mother's perspective on Mother's day, from a sketchbook I kept on a trip to Paris with my son when he was five:

Colin has walked long distances without too much complaining, stood on street corners while I've tried to decipher the map, and endured alien foot-long hotdogs on french bread.

Still today was a day for me to imagine with some longing and irritation how great it would be traveling alone in Paris, walking long distances, just looking and not telling stories to amuse a child, and able to pull out my sketchbook in a cafe when I wanted to draw and drink coffee undisturbed.

So instead of enjoying the afternoon we quarreled and reacted to each other's bad mood. Colin surprised me tonight by saying I was mad at him all day, why was that? And that if I had only let him "catch the black fish in the river with my bare hands" we never would have argued.


He's right, I should have let him get wet in the Seine and chase ducks on the quay--and not played the foolish game of "what if" instead of being thankful for what I have.