tutus, Mersault, and just being enough.

There was a moment last week when I nearly broke down; tension bombarding my chest, emotions wading through my brain, tears burning my eyes with memory.  It took everything in my soul to keep the stream from breaking the dam I’ve created in my mind, one wrought with the ferved pieces of life I’ve tended to stash away over the years.  My walls are thick, y’all. 

I watched as my little princess danced the night away in her sparkly pink tutu, carefree and oblivious to the world around her.  The glean in her eye shined from the stage so brightly, like a distant comet projecting through the sky: even though a quick glimmer, the brilliant light is a travesty to miss.  My little girl was so happy.  And I was overcome with affection, caught between knowing true joy and the realization that I, too, am engaged in a delicate dance. 


The balance of time equity is fragile, with my heart and head generally pulling in three different directions at once, my body twisted and turned until my back is slammed against the wall.  The clock is ticking. Time will eventually run out.  Little girls will only wear tutus for so long.  


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being a working mother parent is hard. The pressures to surpass expectations during the day, coupled with the self-imposed high standards of home life, (and don’t forget the ever-increasing societial squeeze of personal perfection!), can be almost too much to bear.  Something has to give.  And usually it’s me. Let’s just say my yoga mat is lonely, y’all. (chocolate, anyone?)

The sommelier often wonders why I have so much pent up jealousy for his work trips to France, Spain, or Italy.  In truth, these trips are actually work for him, but I imagine fields of vineyards against a setting sun, full of grapes waiting to be harvested, as if gentle waves in the ocean were washing against his feet.  I long to travel there with our tiny dancer, showing her the beauty in the earth, tasting the sour skins that will eventually turn into a favorite vintage of deliciousness.  And I know someday we will… but not now. Not yet. 


For now I close my eyes as I imagine the old chateaus of Beaune glittering in the sun, dotting the landscape with their bright tiled roofs. Beckoning. 


For now I sip on a Premier Cru Mersault from Francois Mikulski, the crisp, lightly acidic Chardonnay glides down my throat in anticipation of summer, the thin veils of melon mingling in the minerality of the region.  My palate is electrified. 


And suddenly I remember; knowing that I am doing the best I can, claiming my weekdays and time in the most productive way possible, while balancing zoo visits and enticing new foods on the weekends. I have to be enough. Just balancing. Teetering. Realizing that even though I may claim to be, I am not superwomanI, me, myself… have to be enough.  

And in her eyes, I am.  She thinks I’m a queen.  And that’s all that matters, y’all. 

Happy Mother’s Day.  Cheers.  

baguettes, terrine, and turrets: exploring the city of Beaune.

Waking up early, we carefully stepped through the cobblestone streets to the Saturday market in Beaune. The city itself still contains remnants of the original medieval walls that contained it’s residents, with towers overlooking the historic center.


As we made our way to the square, various specialty stores began to emerge: chocolatiers, boulangeries, lingeries, and caves du vin. Through glass windows we could see the delicate layers of sugar, chantilly, and icings that have made France so famous for their desserts.


My mouth already started to water with anticipation of our market findings. As we turned through small adjoining streets, the hum of the townspeople began to grow louder. Tables of duck, pork and beef sausages lined the sidewalks; hard cheeses in red wax and rinds graced stands; bress chickens warmed in rotisseries; and citizens queued to buy produce directly from farmers.


We gorged our souvenir dollars on Dijon mustards and honey, then bought a baguette, some Bourgogne terrine, and walked to the city park.


Feasting on fresh sandwiches and the sweetest strawberries ever tasted, we looked on at vineyards, listened to quacking ducks, and enjoyed the peaceful silence of the country.


Strolling back to the center of the city after the closing of the market, a few Flemish inspired homes appeared on a hidden rue de village. Unique in turrets and bright roofs, these gems brightened the country cream stones that made up local architecture.


In the center of town, lies Hotel-Dieu, an early hospice, the epitomizing reflection of this bright roofed trend. It was built in 1443 by the Duke of Burgundy, and is the city’s largest historical attraction… besides wine, of course.


As the afternoon began to fade away, the sommelier and I met with up and coming local wine makers, tasted Champagne, Bourgogne, Saumer Blanc, and so many others that I lost track quickly. I began to realize that I know absolutely nothing about wine… except what I like to drink…. but I will save that for another post.