The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

A Trip To Italy and Greece

on July 11, 2012

Yesterday, my oldest daughter, K, left  for a tour of Italy and Greece.  When this opportunity arose, I thought to myself, “This is amazing!  A once-in-a- lifetime opportunity.”  I love to travel and see new places and meet new people and try new things.  My father blessed/cursed me with the wanderlust!  But you know the excitement of traveling, seeing, meeting, and trying quickly have turned into fear when I thought about K.  Fear of what you say?

Well, she is only 15 (she will turn 16 somewhere in Greece!  Pretty amazing birthday gift if you ask me). So, I have begun to question myself:  Will she have separation anxiety?  Will she be able to handle her money properly?  Will she be able to sleep in strange places?  Will she avoid dangerous situations?  Will she…. well, if you can think of a question, I can assure you I have asked myself that very question.

I have tried to prepare her as much as possible for the unknown.  Of course, we have shopped like there is no tomorrow buying beautiful outfits and neat travel gear.  But will she know to use an umbrella if it rains?  Will she pick the correct outfit when she visits the Vatican?  Will she know how to take advil if she gets a headache?

I have even talked to her about situations that she may encounter overseas that she hasn’t experienced here in the US.  Such as drinking! Alcohol that is.  Yes, she can drink alcohol over there (GASP!).  She has never even had a sip of anything alcoholic and only on rare occasions does she see me sip a glass of wine.  Her father drinks nothing at all.  I didn’t want to tell her she couldn’t drink because I want her to feel free to make that decision, but I worry she won’t understand how quickly a glass of wine will impair her.  We have talked about pick-pockets and how to protect her cards and what to do if she loses anything.  And of course we had the Stranger Danger talk!  I basically told her everyone over there is a stranger; so, don’t talk to anyone!  Too extreme?

But in reality, it isn’t about what I bought her or how many talks I have had with her.  It is simply about knowing that she is a smart, honest, caring, and intelligent young woman that is stepping out to explore the world and discover more about herself.  That is exactly what I want for her, but at the same time, I want to swaddle her in a blanket, hold her in my arms, hum to her, and watch her fall asleep.  This trip represents another step in her journey to independence and adulthood and another hurdle that I must leap in order to understand myself and my new position in life.

She is growing up.  I can not turn back the hands of time.  And as I watched her walk away, I have to accept that it isn’t negative.  She isn’t walking away from me, but she is walking towards a wonderful life of her own that I have helped prepare her for.  I just hopes she knows no matter how far away she goes, my love for her is never out-of-reach!


2 responses to “A Trip To Italy and Greece

  1. […] 16, 2012 — My baby is turning 16 today.  She is over in Greece celebrating with her friends and exploring the world.  As most parents do, I look around her room […]

  2. […] did get that pedi with my oldest daughter, K, who just recently returned from a trip to Italy and Greece.  However, my biggest accomplishment towards tackling #8 is in the picture […]

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