The French Playground Mothers

The  French Playground Mothers

I was a young Mother with a 3 1/2 year old daughter when our family relocated to France.  I didn't know anything about French culture and the proper do’s and don'ts. I did know that all children love parks  so off we went with a picnic blanket, sand toys and a ball. I am tall American and was wearing typical American park attire.....shorts, t-shirt and a baseball cap. Carli was dressed the same Gap kids all the way.  I thought the park would be a good place to meet other Mothers and possibly find someone to be chatty with that spoke English.  I had no idea that I was in for a total Mom dress code culture shock!

As I walked into the park that day every head turned and looked at me (at least it felt that way).  I felt so out of place and clueless with my clothes, my ball and my blanket.  These mothers were dressed in dresses, darling sandals, designer bags, diamond rings and looked just stunning. I went home and promptly announced to my husband, “If I want to fit in I can’t  cut off my legs and be petite, but I have to dress differently.  I am going shopping!” I found a love for dresses in Bordeaux and I re-found style. French women know how to dress, even in jeans they style it up. The 4 ½ years I spent in France changed me forever. Thanks to those ladies I learned a thing or two. I still wear Khaki shorts but I wear them for hiking, camping and yard work.

Recently, I was working in a cafe in Amsterdam and a friend saw me. I was in a dress and sandals and she asked me why I always looked so put together. I answered that I learned it in Bordeaux. Today you will find me riding my bike with it’s pink basket  through the streets of Amsterdam in a dress. I fit right in because Amsterdam is a city where anything goes, but that’s another story!

— Allison