la fête des mères

by jemma margaret

If you find yourself forgetting when Mother’s Day is, perhaps you should move to France.

As in North America, Mother’s Day here falls on the second Sunday in May. But those who manage to miss all the chocolate, flowers, and jewelery advertisements have a good excuse should they neglect the person who brought them into the world. You see, Mother’s Day only became an official holiday in France in 1941 under the Vichy president Philippe Pétain. That is, under occupation. Hence, there are some who oppose the celebration on principle…or just conveniently.

Speaking of future mothers, the pigeons around Paris are getting frisky. I’ve seen several mating attempts where the male pigeon puffs himself up, coos loudly, and drags his tail feathers behind in the concrete. The females are not impressed and walk or fly quickly away. I assume this strategy always fails since I have never seen a baby pigeon nor do I know of anyone who has (please feel free to correct me).

Finally, working our way backwards in the “love, marriage, baby carriage” sequence, now is also the beginning of the Japanese bride in Paris season. They are practically a permanent feature in my commutes past Notre Dame accompanied sometimes by husbands, always by photographers, and helping Paris keep up its reputation as the city of love.