I published an article in the Well section of the The New York Times today. The article, Family Travel in a Time of Fear, discusses reactions - both my own and those of others - to a recent trip to France.
My 7-year-old daughter scampered over the cobblestones of a narrow Paris street, proudly holding a bag of fresh cherries. She had asked for them herself: “Des cerises, s’il vous plaît!” Meanwhile, a few steps away, my 4-year-old was offering her finest “Merci” to the carousel attendant collecting tokens for the next ride. She squealed every time she caught sight of the Eiffel Tower in the distance, convinced she had stepped into the pages of a “Madeline” story. At that moment, my husband and I felt fortunate and happy to be in France as a family, to be able to share with our girls a place that has been formative to us.
Before we left for the trip this past summer, however, some friends and family were apprehensive. “Aren’t you worried about what could happen over there?” The implication was that travel, especially to France, was not a risk worth taking.