Longreads

Frances Leech | Longreads | May 2018 | 13 minutes (3,315 words)

I have friends in Paris who are now 4 and 6 years old. When I ring the doorbell at their apartment, I hear a clamor of footsteps and shouts of “Frances” and “Frances-madeleine” as they fight to open the latch, just within reach of small arms.

“What did you bring?” asks the boy, searching me for a telltale tin or box.

Tu es une PATISSERIE,” says the girl: you’re a bakery, or a baked good. I do not correct her.

Then they remember: “bonjour,” “bonsoir,” a kiss on the cheek. They pull me away like tugboats to see their room. At one birthday party they kidnapped me so fast that the adults did not find me for half an hour. I was busy being dive-bombed by toddlers and…

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