My Dad and his wife, Pam, arrived on Friday, and we've been busy showing them the sights. Notre Dame during Palm Sunday Mass was incredible--seeing the Rose Window at sunset plus the singing of the Mass was just an unforgettable experience. On Saturday, we walked through St. Germain des Prés during a Taïzé worship that left chills down my spine.
Today, convinced that they should be over the jet-lag by now (they weren't) we decided to tackle "the biggie". My Dad is a big museum fan, so he wanted to see the Louvre.
Although he doesn't call it the "Loov", as most Americans pronounce it (which is about as close as the average American can get to the real pronunciation of it--those throaty R's are just not a part of our native tongue.) He calls it, in his North Dakota Norwegian brogue, "Da Loov-er". He loved it. "Now that's Art!" he said as we walked through the Rubens Room in the Richelieu wing.
We are planning a trip to Sacré Coeur and Montmartre tomorrow, Versailles sometime this week, a possible return trip to the Louvre to see some things we didn't have the time or energy for, and a day trip to the city of Calais near Normandy in Nord-pas-de-Calais this weekend to visit the city and the WW2 museum there. (He was really excited about that one!) I am amazed to see him learning about a whole part of the world he never knew much about, and to see his respect for this country grow with every new thing he sees, each little bit of history that unfolds before his eyes.
I wonder if he felt the same way, when he sat me on his knee and had me sound out the words in the headlines of the newspaper every night before supper when I was about four or five years old.
I guess I'm kind of getting a chance to pay him back, just a little, for all that he's taught me. It's a pretty special feeling.