Saturday 3 January 2009

The Grand Tour

Today we went for lunch with friends.
They are the parents of MasterM's best friend, T.
The other guests were the parents
of one of his other best friends, B.
We have known these boys since they were 13.
The boys sat at one end of the table,
full of laughter and fun.

At the other end of the table
the parents spoke of
cheap flights,
travel insurance,
tips for travelling safely,
methods for transferring cash in an emergency.

In three weeks time MasterM will be in Peru.
He will meet up with B for a while
before travelling on to Brazil and Argentina.
T will be in Ghana teaching
and will travel to South America in April.
We will not see MasterM again until July.

I feel unbearably anxious.
As you know MasterM is an experienced traveller
but I feel that this trip takes him outside
any safety net that I can create.
He will have to rely on his resources,
common sense and ingenuity.

What can you do?
If you bring your children up to be independent
you have to let them go.


Mary said...

That is indeed a challenging trip for any mother to cope with...

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness that is a long and far way trip! I am sure Master M is up to the challenge.

Allison said...

July? I can't imagine. I am sure that this will be a test of how sharp the shears were that you used to cut the apron strings . . . Best wishes!

blackbird said...

I'm very pleased that this traveling business is not commonplace in Tuvalu. I don't think my nerves could take it.

Anonymous said...

I know this feeling very well. Text messaging makes the world a small place, as does email. If you receive neither then it is an indication that all is going VERY well, and not the opposite, as would be reasonsable to assume.

I think the confidence and initiative of the young adult is a testament to good parenting. Well done to both of Master M's parents.

Daisie said...

I can't even imagine how I would feel. My middle one has just started school and I cried every day for a week because I wouldn't see her until half past three!
The fact that he has the confidence to go is testament to what a brilliant job you have done as his mother!
And as peppermintpatcher said, there's always good old email!!

Anonymous said...

Note to self - must remember to get MasterM to watch Fitzcarraldo before he goes. Could be a useful training video

Ali said...

Um, Alice, you may want to get him a larger scale map.

How on earth in the next 10 years my parenting dilemmas go from 'is it okay to let him go to the playground alone?' to this, I cannot fathom.

But from what I've learned of him, I can't think of a better man for the job.

JuliaB said...

I agree with you about the independance but you are very brave too. Better they be independant in the long run though and I'm already planning trips for Jimmy for when he's old enough! I only wish my parents had done the same for me. It takes alot of courage for everyone and I wish MasterM good travels. He sounds like a resourceful young man and will be all the more so after July! xx

Unknown said...

I can quite understand your silent misgivings but he is a sensible boy and email and texts make the world a much smaller place - easy for me to say when Sarah is still in Lower 6th though - I may well feel much differently in 18months time

tess said...

I'm with Ali on this one, right now the end of the street is too far....... but then I have to remembered my parents let me go away for a month at 18 in the era of no mobile phones, or internet, and without even a credit card - what WERE they thinking........
I hope Master M has a great trip, and I hope you don't miss him toooo much. xxx

Penny Blogs said...

Wow - that sounds like it's going to be quite a trip. Just make sure that you set him up with a blog or similar before he goes so he can share with you all his tales.

I hope he has a fantastic time (and that you cope without him ok!)

RW said...

That is along time.
I can't imagine.

kristina said...

From everything I know about Master M, his intelligence, humor, and good sense will more than carry him through. K x

Anonymous said...

I do love reading your blog! Best wishes to you and your family in 2009 ... hoping your son's travels are safe and happy!

The world is certainly a very different place from when I travelled as a young woman; however, communication is so much easier! Hope he knows how to use skype just to check in occasionally - so you can sleep! Peace!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh. That is far away and for a long time. But he's resourceful, and an experienced traveler. And, as you say, what can you do?

Anonymous said...

Like Ali, I cannot imagine how I will get from the end of the road independence that my nearly 5 year old has to end of the world independence in just over ten years. Yikes!
I do think you must have done a marvellous job as parents to have two such interesting and interested children. Spend some of their time away patting yourselves on the back for a job well done.

Gina said...

I feel for you Alice. I found it heart wrenching when Joe left for ten months. But be reassured suddenly they are home again as big and as noisy as ever, coming home in the early hours and falling asleep on the sofa!

Eleanor said...

You father never attended university and he says that he learned everything he ever needed from travelling the world.

I believe him.

Congratulations to the whole family on this wonderful, challenging, exciting milestone in Master M's life.

All we need now is to find a South American blogger to keep an eye on him, hehehe.

The Coffee Lady said...

Perhaps MasterM is going to have to set up a blog with pictures of him looking pink and well to keep you happy.

Not that tracking my half-brother's antics across foreign parts helped my dad, but then he is not so web-savvy a parent.

Jackie said...

Don't look at me for reassurance..I'm worried about him already.