In the summer of 1999, I visited the city of Prague. It wasn’t my first trip there. As a matter of fact, I had visited merely six months before, in the winter, with a friend, your tatie R in fact, and had loved it so much that I decided to go back six months later. I was in Europe that summer anyway, so I took a train from Munich to Prague, then Prague to Berlin and Berlin to Paris. I didn’t like Berlin as much as Prague, but there I go moving off topic again.
One evening during my stay in Prague, I was hanging out on the Charles Bridge, which is what most of the young people do on warm summer evenings in Prague, and I was 25. I was just sitting on one of the banks on the side of the bridge where you have the castle, people watching, when I saw a mother taking an evening stroll.
She was pushing a baby carriage, and holding her dog on a leash, some sort of small dog, I can’t remember what kind, and my twenty-five year old self just thought for some reason it was the loveliest sight. A mother, taking a slow walk with her baby and dog, along the banks of the Vltava river. And I found myself hoping that I would one day be that woman, taking an evening stroll while pushing a baby carriage, with the dog trotting along.
My twenty-five year old self had not yet given much thought to parenthood, and I think that was the first time that I felt a small inkling of a longing. And the first time I imagined that I could do it.
Ten years later, I find myself incarnating that woman a few evenings a week, as I push your stroller around our Paris neighborhood, the dog trotting slowly alongside us…