I lived in Paris my whole life, and I always heard people say how beautiful and romantic Paris is. But to me, it’s just home. I always figured I would meet a French woman, fall in love and we’d live happily ever after in a tiny apartment like all Parisians do. Wrong.
I could have never predicted that I’d meet a pretty American girl who I would share my life with. We got married and had a magnificent little girl named Hannah, a beautiful princess with curly hair and blue eyes, straight out of a fairy tale. My wife and I both traveled a lot before we met. I had the chance to go live and work in Australia and New Zealand when I was still single and it felt exciting and like a fun adventure. But the decision we made to come and live in the United States, along with our 1-year-old baby, was quite stressful for me as a man because I had no clue if I could financially support a comfortable life for my daughter and my wife. I found a great job nearly immediately that has allowed me to use the hospitality skills I learned in Paris.
The woman who shares my heart really helped us to settle in to our life in America. From opening bank accounts, to finding a place to live, learning to drive (I took the metro my whole life!), and going through the long and expensive immigration process, it has been a huge life change. Especially the food and medical insurance system.
With time, I’ve gotten to know this country and the people who live here. Each day, it gets a bit easier. It’s still strange to me to have a daughter who speaks mostly in English, and I hope one day she’ll love to speak French, too. I feel a lot of pressure to help her speak French since I’m the only person, besides her mother, who speaks French around her. Every Saturday, I take her to French class so we can work on the language together.
I lost both of my parents when I was a young man, so I don’t always feel like celebrating holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I’m very sad that my parents will never knew my wife or daughters (our second beautiful daughter was born here in America). I was unsure about my future when my parents died and felt a bit lost, but now I feel a new sense of purpose in being a husband and a father. Even though I miss my family and best friends who are still back in France, I’m writing a new story with my girls now, and I do my best every day to live in this foreign place and provide them the best life I can.
Happy Father’s Day!
Jean-Christophe is married to Rebekah, one of the co-owners of St. Louis Moms Blog. Originally born and raised in Paris, France, JC loves cheese (the stinkier, the better), playing Air Soft and Boom Beach, is a talented artist and makes a mean homemade chocolate mousse. Girls run in his family, so he predicted being a girl dad well before his daughters were born, and he loves it! Most of his family and dear friends live back in France, and he misses them every day.