That's what I usually do. I write for myself every single day. No one reads my journal but me.
But now something has changed.
I'm going to write for a lot of people: everyone I know, and their friends, parents, siblings, cousins, and neighbors.
I'm going to write for the entire city!

No, I'm not going to publish my journal.
No, I'm not going to post online.
No, I'm not going to write on public billboards.

I bet you're curious now. Well, you'll have to wait, because I have to announce something equally or even more exciting:
(Trumpets, flutes, bells, horns, and other music)
My family is going to Paris this week.

Trip Timeline:

  1. My mother receives invitation to speak at a legal conference in Paris, France.
  2. She accepts.
  3. My father decides to look for cheap tickets on the Internet.
  4. He finds them. The whole family will go to Paris with our mother, even though it's not a school vacation.
  5. Strangely enough, at first, three members of the Hayes family do not want to go to Paris. (Question: Are we crazy? Answer: Probably.)
  6. We don't want to miss literary journal meetings, debate society, athletic practices, dances, parties, etc.
  7. Dad persuades us. Paris is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
  8. Fourteen-year-old Isabel realizes how much history is in Paris.
  9. Her athletic twin, Eva, says that she'll walk all over Paris. Paris is a good city for walking, she says. (ANY city is a good city for walking and jogging, if you ask Eva.)
  10. Nine-year-old Alex doesn't need persuading. He's thrilled to get out of school.
  11. I'm still not sure about this trip, so I talk to my favorite teacher, Ms. Bean.

"You don't want to go to Paris?" Ms. Bean gasps when I tell her. "Well, you can stay here and teach my class. Do you think your family will adopt me?"

She's kidding, right?

I wonder: If Ms. Bean joins our family, will she fight my older sisters for her morning cereal? Will she argue over who got the most awards in ninth grade?

And will she call herself Ms. Bean-Hayes? Or Ms. Hayes-Bean? "Paris," Ms. Bean sighs, interrupting my fascinating thoughts.