However, this year feels different. Maybe because none of the children's friends are leaving, mainly because they have actually left in past years and are now coming back to visit us which is a positive twist to the endless farewells. Maybe because - after living in this city for four years - it is finally beginning to feel like home.
Paris is a wonderful city to visit but anybody who has actually lived here, knows that it is not all "la vie en rose". For starters, you need to deal with the Parisians! I dare say I have managed to conquer even that hurdle.
For the first time, I am saying my "Au Revoirs" realising that as I am envying those moving on, they might actually prefer to be in my place, wanting to keep living in the cultural capital of the world with its sublime architecture and food that makes the Gods smile.
I am at peace with staying in town this year, realising that there aren't many cities I'd trade for, at least not in Europe. I have found my purpose, my place and my rhythm. I am good at making new friends AND keeping the old ones and have decided to make the best of both worlds. I trust that the emotional investment required to deal with grief is worth the effort.
As Joseph Parry said: "Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold."