Celebrating Bastille Day in America

Despite the circumstances that brought us back to the United States, it was important to me that our life in America honor Ben’s French heritage. One of the ways we have done this is by celebrating the 14th of July- France’s Independence Day.

Like all great celebrations, ours involved good food and decorations. I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate being French!

We started the day off with my favorite grain-free crêpes, from Danielle Walker’s blog, Against All Grain. Having lived in France, I’ll admit that I can be somewhat of a crêpe snob- but in spite of the healthy swaps that make this recipe gluten-free, these taste authentically French.

Bastille day crepes

One of my favorite memories from our trip to Paris last year was going to the Trocadéro. The city was under a massive heat wave, and we were exhausted from walking all day long. In effort to pacify my 6 year old, I bought a few crêpes from a street vendor so that we could enjoy them under the shade. After we had finished, my dad took Ben down to play in the Trocadéro fountains where he ran around, knee-deep in the water, splashing with all the other French kids.

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As the day went on, we reminisced about our trip to France, and later watched “Ratatouille” for a family movie night. One of Ben’s favorite things to do is to watch movies that take place in Paris, pointing out all the places he’s been. Not only has this been a great way to keep French “alive” in our home, but it has also provided some much needed healing for my little boy who misses his other country so much.

It goes without saying that Bastille Day is historically bittersweet. While it recognizes the end of the absolute monarchy which ruled the country for centuries, it was equally a gruesome affair (I’ll let you Google “The Reign of Terror” if you’re interested in the details), but for us it has become pure celebration. A celebration of the joy and pride that is the cultural privilege of being French.

So until the next 14th of July, where we will proudly display our “tricoleur”, Vive la France et Vive la République!

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