Something For My Bucket List

My 5 year-old daughter is watching the Disney movie Ratatouille this morning.

Not being one to miss a “teachable moment,” I casually mentioned to her that our ancestors were French, like the characters in the movie.

We’ve actually talked about this before. I’ve tried to teach her a few French words using the limited vocabulary I still have from 2 years of college French.

She gave me a confused look. It took me a few seconds to figure out why.

I then explained that our ancestors were French people, like Linguini and Colette, not French rats like Emile.

She looked relieved.


A short while later, there was a scene where Emile the Rat is looking out a window over the city of Paris, and the Eiffel Tower is standing tall in the background.

I told her that that’s a picture of Paris, a city in France, and it’s possible that her ancestors lived there (I don’t know where in France they came from).

Her: “That’s pwetty. I haven’t go there yet.”

Me: “Yeah, me neither. Maybe we can go there together someday.”

Her: “Yeah, that would be fun.”

So… there’s one more for the bucket list: Take my daughter to Paris.

Hopefully I can figure out where our ancestors came from first.

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Photo by Wikipedia user Taxiarchos228, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth is a genealogy and family history researcher, writer, and consultant. She is easily bribed with coffee and chocolate chip cookies.


  1. Ohh, thats on my list too. I have French ancestry as well.

  2. What a nice thing to add to your bucket list…hmmm..I need a list!

  3. I’m glad you were able to set her mind as ease about not being French rats!

  4. Me too, @Kristin! Although… our ancestors *could* have been “rats” in another sense of the word. Still working on that one.

    @Terri, I hope you make it there, too!

    @Path Traveled, we have a list, but haven’t made very much progress with it. Hoping to start crossing items off soon!

  5. I was fortunate to visit Paris when I was a kid — my dad was stationed at Hahn AFB in Germany. I don’t remember everything, but can conjure up images of the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I’d like to go back one day, so I can pay more attention. :-)

  6. @Stephanie, traveling to Paris has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and way before I knew I had French ancestors. Hence the 2 years of college French (that haven’t proved very useful living in CA). Your trip must have been wonderful!

  7. Too funny! Your daughter is a sweetheart. Can’t wait to see your blog post when you find the link to your French roots. Better yet: can’t wait til you post pics from your trip there! What a special time that will be.


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