Vacations with Friends
Getting ready to send my 5 year old off to school on a bus is a big step, but not as big as sending my oldest off on an air plane, to go on a vacation with her friends’ family, and then drive back with them from Florida. She is 12 and she leaves in a couple of hours. She has been up since the crack of dawn pretty excited. You see, she’s going to Hogwarts (and I’m not).
I remember the first time I let someone other than family drive her anywhere without me, I was a little bit apprehensive but realized that it was a normal step as kids grow older. It went right along with the sleepovers, play-dates, scouts and sporting events that become the social lives of the elementary school crowd. Middle school means all of that and more – on a larger scale.
This is not the first time she’ll be “away from us” but it is the farthest she’s been without us and it is the first time she won’t have an “out” if something goes sour. If a week at girl scout camp goes bad or she gets sick, I can get in the car to go get her. Five days on vacation with a friend and something happens, she’s stuck. It definitely has the potential to be another one of life’s big learning experiences.
For my part, I’m not really worried about the flight since this will be her 21st (and 22nd) time on airplanes, heck these will actually be some of her shorter flights so that’s really not a concern. I’m not worried that she will be rude, or misbehave or not be thankful to her hosts. What I am a bit worried about is the friendship of two 12 year old girls surviving 5 days together, (especially the day long car ride back), concerned that one of them will get so upset with the other that it will ruin the trip for both of them (one is a self declared Griffindor and the other a self declared Slytherin after all). I’m also worried about her rationing her money and not spending it wisely so she’s not broke long before they get back to Ohio (but that’s in her hands now).
Ultimately, I am very excited for her, excited she has this opportunity, excited that her friend’s family chose her to ask to accompany them and confident that she is prepared to handle difficult situations that may come up.
So while I’m a bit apprehensive that “something” will happen, it’s not to the point of paranoia or to the point where I expect something to happen - hope for the best prepare for the worst and all of that.
Besides – this is the age of cell phones and text messages – I’m sure I’ll hear all about it.