“Would you take a picture of us?” a young woman with radiant eyes and long, dark hair falling down her petite back asked me in front of Paris’s iconic Arc de Triomphe.
“Of course!” I answered, as she handed me her iPhone.
After shooting a photo of the adorable couple smiling, I teased them into a different pose: “Look romantic!”
“Now let me take a photo of you,” she volunteered.
“What brings you to Paris?” she asked, picking up my camera.
“We are returning for the first time since our honeymoon here 37 years ago.”
“We are here on our honeymoon, too! Is the city as beautiful as you remembered?”
Paris was as beautiful and romantic as I remembered, with lovers kissing as they strolled across bridges, sat at sidewalk cafes, and stood beneath the lights of the Eiffel Tower, but I think I enjoyed it even more on this visit so many years later because of the person I have become. My younger self could not have imagined the sorrows, joys, and unpredictable unfolding of life ahead. The sorrow of infertility, the joy of adopting my two sons, the challenges and privilege of parenthood, and the immeasurable love and support my husband and I have given each other. Walking hand-in-hand across the shimmering Seine filled me, not with the nervous expectation of 37 years earlier, but with deep gratitude. And the meltingly flaky croissant tasted as heavenly as they did on the first morning of my honeymoon.