Sometimes you have to dream a dream bigger than yourself...so when it comes true, you know that a miracle just happened. -Rena
I wrote that in my journal a long time ago when I was barely a driving 16 year old and had no idea what life was all about. There must have been some old wisdom in my pen, because I kept those words close to me during a hard period in my life.
My daughter was barely 5 years old and I was newly single. We had just moved back in with my parents and I was feeling pretty low. Little girls, with stars in their eyes, think the world of their mothers and could never bear to see them cry. Mothers of little girls try hard to hide the tears and tell them stories of better times.
In that vulnerable moment, I made her a promise. A promise that was bigger than ourselves...that once it came true...would be one of the biggest miracles of all. I told her that after she turned 18, we would go to Paris for New Years Eve. Making this promise was scary...because I was working part time and living with my parents. I didn't know if I would have enough gas to get back and forth to work...but it was something that stopped my tears and pushed me to try. To try for my daughter, to try for me...to try for Paris.
It's 2013. The promise I made so long ago is so close, that I can smell the croissants. Her eyes still light up with the words I told her on my bed in my parents' house. The promise is no longer a dream, but an action. She and I scour websites together, make lists and plan for a trip so close to our hearts.
Did I know that we would make it to Paris when I made that promise?
Did I want to make it to Paris?
Soon after Gwyneth Paltrow's father died in 2002, I saw this quote. She had asked her father why he had taken her on a special trip to Paris. He told her, “I wanted you to see Paris for the first time with a man who would always love you, no matter what.”
In 2016, my daughter will be fresh out of high school and halfway into her Freshman year of college. I will be somewhere in my 40s. We will stand under the lights of the Eiffel Tower and cheer in the New Year with crowds of Parisians.
On eve of 2017, my daughter will be in Paris for the first time with a mother would always love her... no matter what.