It appears that the only thing more painful than immigrating to France is leaving France. Two weeks from today we make our exodus from this land of endless paperwork. Case in point: disconnecting from our technology commitments. I mean how much drama can there possibly be to ending our relationship with a cellphone/internet provider? Turns out quite a bit. Multiple forms and multiple phone calls, misdirection and misinformation and, with the language barrier, misunderstanding. Don’t even get me started on closing out the bank account.

Here in France, everything that could easily be managed with a quick call requires in-person presence, piles of paper and plenty of patience (not to mention perspiration). Moving is so much easier in Canada. Of course I knew all this from the experience of coming in but two years later all had been forgiven and forgotten.

The rumpus of setting up in this once foreign land has all but disappeared in my mind. Maybe it’s sort of like how women forget about the pain of childbirth until they hit the hospital elevator, panting and moaning as the next baby’s getting ready to make its appearance. Suddenly it all comes flooding back and they’d give anything to to cancel the whole deal. I couldn’t speak to that personally as you all know. I’ve delivered a few wee ones and for the life of me I cannot imagine how anyone goes back for another round. I used to always think okay, so you did this before, you know what’s involved and you’re back for another go?! Gals made of tougher stuff than I am, obviously.

Anyhoo, I know all the moms out there will say that’s it’s well worth it, the agony it takes to bring a life into the world. Plus, there’s the added bonus of cursing and condemning the culpable man in public. Let me be clear. Not for a moment am I comparing the fuss of an international move with the tremendously difficult experience of giving birth. All I’m saying is that time has a way of eroding the gory details. It has to. How else could the human race hope to survive?

So I too must soldier on, “I” meaning Neil because, let’s face it, he’s the one doing most of the pushing in our labour. But as I’ve said many times before, never underestimate the effort it takes to nag a man half to death. I’m worn out with it. In the end it was a good thing we decided not to have children. Science has yet to figure out how to have the man do all the work and I couldn’t have it any other way.