As a parent, every few years you are faced with another rite of passage, another adventure your child is about to embark on, another chance for you to show your chops as a parent. Although your heart is hanging on to the hem of their pants as they walk through that door, your head is ready to let them fly…
The last time I wrote one of these my boy was off to college. Seems like yesterday, yet here we, are 3 and half years later and he is off for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I thought now would be a good time to give him one of my famous lists of advice. I do this every so often to remind him, or more likely myself, that I am not quite through imparting wisdom just yet. If I write it here instead of tell him all this to his face, I spare myself the humiliation of the sighing and eye-rolling. So here goes, in no particular order.
- Don’t be THAT American. This is similar to what I told my kids when they were first starting to experiment with drinking. Don’t be THAT girl/guy, the one that gets wasted and pukes on themselves. Don’t be THAT American simply means respect the local culture.
- Try to really SEE Europe, don’t just drink Europe. This is obvious to me and quite ridiculous to him. Hopefully somewhere in between will be his reality.
- Keep your eyes open and soak in everything. You never know what might wind up being the answer to what you want to do with your life.
- Be Smart. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it seems unsafe, it probably is.
- Eat Everything, within reason. No explanation needed.
- Don’t be a dick (not that you ever would be). Again, the international version. This is like number 1 on steroids. Check the ego at the door and you might as well leave the egocentric there to keep it company.
- If you have to play beer pong, make sure you win the 100 Euro. Self-explanatory.
- Amsterdam – you MUST see the Anne Frank House. As Jana said, as a Jew it is your responsibility. Period.
- The rest of your time in Amsterdam. I do not need details, thanks.
- Have the time of your life. This one should be easy.
In all seriousness, you are an amazing young man and have always made us proud. We have no real worries about this trip. We are just a more than a little jealous.