Me and my husband have a small child so we take turns sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday and the other person gets up around 7 AM otherwise. It's not a hard and fast system or anything but whomever gets up Saturday sleeps in the following day. We often go to church at an American Catholic church in Paris for the 1100 mass. I always laugh because the service is usually less than 40 minutes, I always call it the fastest mass in the west. With no traffic on the highway on Sunday mornings, it is a 30 minute drive from our suburb. What's great is also on Sunday the church is in a business discrict and there is plenty of free parking. All this adds up to a big reason to go to church on Sunday. We dress nice not really up. I always wear a nice necklace and no jeans for our kid but not really dressy dressy.
This guy at church once joked to me that the reason the French are not on the highway is because they are all on anti-depressants and hung over, of course that is not true, Sunday traffic is just lighter in countries that don't work on Sunday. I have made friends with several of the women there and our son has started taking a music appreciation lesson from the organist there. Our son really loves it and the teacher has made him a simple CD and he has a bulky plastic CD player and he listens to it and other CDs on it. He really likes music. We have been going there for about a year. My husband is an atheist although raised Catholic and suffers the experience intermittently out of a sense of family cohesion. I don't force him to go. I think he likes the atmosphere. He is French and a lot of French people who speak English attend, often times people married to English speaking Catholics or interested in the international environment for a variety of reasons.
Then we come home and have a lunch. Sometimes something special and sometimes something light depends. We might take a walk all together around the lake. We live on the edge of a University campus and there are ducks and turtles and other animals around the pond. Further away is a real lake so we have the good fortune of seeing the wild geese fly over our city and even sometimes we see a stray goose or other large water birds near our smaller University pondish lake. Our son rides his bike well at four. In fact it was amazing he took to bike riding like a duck to water. I thought I would have to teach him he got on fell down a few times and by his second time around the garden could ride independently. Took him a while to figure out the brakes. I am not kidding he rode in less than fifteen minutes. We take the dog for our walks on Sunday who becomes really tired. Its nice. Than we vacuum and do small housekeeping.
We take care of the animals like cleaning the rabbit cage and brush the dog. We ready for the week ahead. My husband loves to iron. I can't stand it personally. In fact when we got married I asked him if I had to iron as I was not interested in it. He said no he found it relaxing and likes to iron. So about once a month he will iron about eight shirts and some of our sons things. I for one don't like anything ironed. Anyway I mostly wear black pants and colorful smocky shirts and don't need it. I have several favorite television programs. We watch this puppet french show that is a political parady called the Gignoles. And my favorite show reruns of Monk comes after. Sometimes we watch a movie or have music on while we do our little chores. If my husbands teen daughter from his first marriage is here my husband drives her home. She usually doesn't come to church, she also has an older young adult brother. He is too old to really come for the weekend anymore.
We vary this Sunday routine based on social events. For example this last Saturday my husband and his teen daughter went to a dinner party at a friend Chantal's house. She gives wonderful parties and has a dynamic personality and has been on game shows and reality TV and can do stand up comedy. She is a lot of fun. I went to the last dinner party about a month ago and since the teen was kind enough to babysit I thought it would be nice if she went this time. As in France teens and children go to most adult parties the latin family oriented culture. They usually participate in small ways and hang out upstairs as they might go to sleep etc. So, the teen while shopping on Saturday saw a pink fairy type skirt and purple jacket she liked. She got all dressed up did her hair was really excited.
Since I wasn't going I knew Chantal would think I was avoiding her. So I got her a big fantasy box of tea that I think went over really really well, because I wanted her to know I think of her in a tea friendship way. And to be honest we really do need to take turns babysitting so we all can't go unless we pay for a sitter. I guess they had a great time at the party and the teens did a skit for the adults and they all danced together at the end of the party there were two other teen girls. It was a big success. I like it that the teen is learning how to be in party situations sober as JC does not drink very much as most people driving don't and he doesnt drink much anyway. Also the teen participated and was appreciated and accepted. I think all that is important and am grateful that my husband is good at that.
I was happy because my husband and Chantals boyfriend (we are all in our forties or fifties) made or brought CDs of some eclectic music and we have a friend who made a neat jug band CD called "The Christmas Jug Band" and I could tell him to tell their band that a song was played at a dinner party in Paris. Last time I went it was an official French sit down at a long dinner style dinner party this time with my husband and the teen it was a buffet and skits and dancing with special music. The teen was cute, she wore the pink fairy skirt, black tights knee doc martin clunky boots, she is very thin, white long sleeved t-shirt with the short purple sweater jacket over and a very small boyish mid arm length michael jackson type jacket over that and looked very fashionable, chantal is more glamourous as is her teen daughter, so i thought it was cool that she could let her fashion own fashion personality show through and feel good at the party.
Then this next week Sunday lunch, we are going to a friend of mine who is also an older mother like me as she also had her only daughter at 42 like I had my son. She is Austrailian and invited us over for barbequed chicken wings and a Austrialian day. We are going to bring something I think she wants us to bring sausages? I have to ask her. We won't stay long just for lunch. We usually bring our sons scooter so he can ride around the big inner coutyard for their inner city type public housing. Although we also live in public housing we live in more countryish style with no communual courtyard. She lives in real live utopian French public housing built out of the philosophies of Le Courbusier which are less popular now and being rethought.
So, that is our Sunday routine. Our son usually doesn't like a story at bedtime he likes them randomly during the day. We are reading the pooh poems from the Winnie the Pooh series now, I find them heartbreaking. I sometimes read to him while he is playing. So when he goes to sleep he goes immediately to bed and is alseep in seconds. I usually also go to bed early and my husband stays up really late playing computer games on the internet. I think it is a low key habbit and have read that it is an excellent way for people to keep their brains in top shape. So it is actually a great way to exercise your brain. Also my son is already showing an interest and I think it makes for complicated kinds of problem solving skills overall.
My husband needs less sleep than me only about six or seven hours while I like eight or nine hours. During the week we are all up by 7AM. I always wish I could get up at 6 like they advise in those parents books and get ready before my son wakes up because that certainly would make for a more organized morning. My son is a great sleeper he rarely wakes up and sleeps soundly from his bedtime around 9PM until 7PM. He always wakes up naturally we don't wake him up. I like Sundays because it is a day dedicated to family and getting ready for the week. My personal morning routine is I like to read a small section from the Lao Tsu in French and English because I have the two books and do several sets of lifts with a five pound weight on each arms. Drink water and lots of coffee.
My husband likes to get up throw on his clothes and run out the door and only takes a coffee and a banana except on Sundays. And my son likes anything with cakes as it is more common in europe to eat a sweat bread for breakfast and does not like cereal or anything like eggs or bacon; he likes milk with it though. My son also likes to pick out his sweater and this morning rejected them all. Sometimes I feel like a woman at the fitting room hopefully saying, "this one", no, "this one", no, he only has eight sweaters all shades of grey or blue browns, there is nothing exciting going to happen. On Sunday our breakfast is fun because we often get something a little special like buns or a breakfast cake, blinis, my husband is not used to a big breakfast, although I go around this sometimes and fix a breakfast of eggs and bacon for lunch. Just more leisurely breakfast as we don't leave the house until ten. I read about this question "What's your Sunday Routine", on the New York Times and it inspired me to respond in this blog. After church we usually don't change our clothes for our walk. So we look nice all day.