Taking the Kids to Paris

Writer Chip Brown takes his kids to Paris for their first time in the City of Light.

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[BLANK_AUDIO] It's commonly believed that a good way to ruin a trip to Paris is to bring your kids, particularly, if they're nine and four as my son Oliver and my daughter India were when my wife Kate and I took them to Paris for the first time. But we wanted to show them the Pont des Arts bridge over the Seine, where Kate and I had gotten engaged years ago. And we had high hopes of expanding their cultural horizons, beyond Hannah Montana, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Part of being a parent, is wanting to awaken in your children, some sense of the canonical glory's of civilization. Sadly Oliver and India were interested in nothing I thought they ought to be. The box cut chestnut trees in the Luxemburg gardens, India was more intrigued by the Hello Kitty balloons at a little stand. The graceful mansard Roofs. Oliver preferred to play catch with a chestnut. The Mona Lisa and the Louvre, no, the [UNKNOWN]? Why bother when you can ride a tiny elevator up and down in the stairwell in the [UNKNOWN] hotel. After one disastrous experience with French cuisine in a brassiere in the seventh, India didn't like anything on the menu and said so loudly in a voice she seems to have learned from Ethel Merman I bought some french bread, apples, and chocolate at a little market and we had a picnic on a bench along the Seine, where the kids whooped and waved at tourists on the Baton Mouche. What they did love was the Eiffel Tower, so much I thought they might be on the brink of applying for an asylum in France. I realized with kids there's no such thing as a visual cliche. When you see what your kids are seeing, you reawaken your own eyes. Every person, every object, every prospect has a rinsed and vibrant spontaneity. It's as if you were walking out of a hotel on the first fresh morning of the world. Wherever you happen to be is like being in Paris the first time. [BLANK_AUDIO]
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Taking the Kids to Paris


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