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I Thought It was the Wine

Don’t ask me how these things happened, they just did.  Chloe heard a shortened description of our card parties as I described them at our dinner party.  The guys both had smirks on their faces as I explained the importance of the parties to bond with the other mothers in the neighborhood.  I glossed over the alcohol intake that helped us not stress about who actually won the games, and mentioned how the creativity of our menus resulted in better meals for our families.  Chloe clapped her hands in delight and spoke rapidly in French, then started to cry. I had no idea what she was saying, but Francis’ face lit up also.  After the mini-celebration ended, Francis told Steve and me how grateful he was that we had asked her to join the group.  Francis reached across the table and gently held Chloe’s hand as she wiped away tiny tears.  After she composed herself, Chloe told us herself how grateful she was to be included also.  Francis went on to say that they had never felt at home in the states until recently.  Having a proper home gave them great hope that they could finally put the hard times behind them.  Being away from home must have been difficult for Chloe, and Francis seemed to understand the sacrifices they had to make to create a new life with Marie Claire.  They wanted Marie Claire to have a better world.  We all sat quietly for a couple of minutes.  Steve proposed a toast to having a better life for our children and we all clinked our wine glasses.

Mags was the hostess for the first card party that Chloe attended while the girls were at school.  Marie Claire had been enrolled at the same school as Daisy and the two youngsters held hands as they walked to the bus stop on the corner.  It was good to have the girls busy for the day so that we could both enjoy ourselves. I brought a big batch of my Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer.  Mags had made room in the oven for them so we could enjoy them piping hot.  Thoughtfully, Mags served French wine instead of a cocktail. Long story short, we never played cards that afternoon.  We ate delicious food, drank many glasses of wine, asked Chloe a lot of questions and enjoyed life.  It seemed fitting for such a beautiful fall day.  As we were leaving to walk across the street to return home, Chloe linked her arm in mine, leaned toward me and thanked me.  I surprised her by answering in some French that Francis had taught me and called her “mon ami.”

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