recette
échapper

foi

Foi
Without a modicum of foi, life can be a three-ring circus.

Foi

(fwa)

noun, feminine

faith

 

My daughter says that books are like cigarettes, une mauvaise habitude, and would I please put the reading aside for one night?

"Of course, Sweetheart," I promise, returning the book to its shelf. Is that a tremble in my arm? Sweat on my brow?

"And the cahiers and the pens—put them away too!" Jackie insists.

My head starts to pound and the twitching begins. I leave my hard- and soft-bound drugs, feeling the first symptoms of withdrawal as I walk away from words. I tell my daughter that I got the habit from her Mexican grandmother, Wholia, and that one day she'll need a paper-and-pen fix too. It runs in the family like flat hair and latent fury.

I don't tell my daughter that her Mexican grandmother, Jules, is really American, but leave it as Jackie's told it time and again. It is her story and not mine, and she gets that storytelling gene from Wholia, or Julia—make that "Jules".

At the dinner table, Jackie asks, "Why does Grandma Jules dress up for dinner?"

I sit there in my felt slippers and pajamas, thinking up an answer.
"Because people like to look at pretty things when they eat, and don't we love looking at Grandma Jules?" My daughter agrees.

When Jackie says, "Let's do like Grandma Jules!" I prepare to get up, walk to the powder room, and put on some lipstick. Instead, my daughter reaches for my hand, closes her eyes and says:

"Dear Lord, thank you for this food."

It is no thanks to me, nose deep in a book, fingers curled around another cartouche, that my daughter learned to pray. But tonight we'll take Wholia's example, and hope that, like fury and fine hair, faith runs in this family—if not always in stride.

                                                   
YOUR EDITS HERE
Thank you for pointing out any typos or "grammar worries" in this story. Click here to submit edits or to comment 

French Vocabulary

une mauvaise habitude = a bad habit
le cahier = notebook
une cartouche = (ink) cartridge (refill for pens)


:: Audio File ::
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, read today's quote:
http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/files/foi.wav

Terms & Expressions:
  digne de foi = reliable, trustworthy (witness)
  être de bonne foi = to be sincere, honest
  la mauvaise foi = dishonesty
  avoir la foi = to have faith
  perdre la foi = to lose one's faith
  sans foi ni loi = to fear neither God nor man
  avoir la foi du charbonnier = "to have a coalman's faith" (simple faith)
  avec les yeux de la foi = "with eyes of faith" = to believe sight unseen

If you enjoy French Word-A-Day, please take a moment to learn how you can support it. Thank you!

Hear the following story:

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution is vivement appréciée! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
♥ Send $10    
♥ Send $25    
♥Send the amount of your choice

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle

Comments