I thought I had this "Adult Children Leaving the Nest" thing down. One by one by four, they tripped off to their separate cities and states and a good time was had by all.
Until Young Son left for Costa Rica for his Study Abroad program. You may have noticed, that is a separate country.
I try not to be that hovering parent. He is a senior in college (and loving it so much, apparently, this is his fifth year) and will turn 22 whilst on this journey. The only advice I gave was, "Don't leave things until the last minute. Don't blame others if you didn't do the research to find out the rules and things don't turn out the way you think they should."
Because, my son has been a lawyer in training since he could talk. He always has a perfectly sensible (to him) explanation why things should go the way he thinks they should. Regardless of the rules. (My favorite case was at age seven when we were taking a break from Halloween. "All I want to do is dress up like Fred Flintstone, carry a big club and get free candy! What is not Jesus-y about that?" Well. Can't argue with that reasoning. This was a case he won hands down. Without using that big club.)
But then there are the arguments against established rules like cost of vaccinations to foreign countries, no airplane carry-ons containing large amounts of name brand health and beauty aids not sold in Costa Rica, and having to pay for the privilege to be a volunteer at a rainforest sanctuary. Not saying if those are real examples or not, but let's all agree those are non-negotiable, and will not evoke mom's sympathy if you are feeling mistreated by The Man. Or in this case, El Mano. (High school Spanish, you are so good to me.)
So, Young Son and his Young Girlfriend left for Study Abroad on June 1. They are to spend June helping out at this rainforest sanctuary: http://www.rainsongsanctuary.com/ in Montezuma (as in the "Revenge" that we are all aware of. DON'T DRINK THE WATER, Young Son!) Then they will spend July in classes in San Jose to fulfill that pesky college foreign language requirement.
Thankfully, pre-trip research filled him in on the cost of international cell phone calls. And of the proximity of Internet Cafes. We get regular emails informing us of the beauty of Costa Rica. The cheapness of the delicious food. The monkeys that bite. Now, there's one factoid that could have been edited for Mom's consumption. Because I'm fairly sure that no foreign vaccination, regardless of cost, inoculates against germs found in monkey spit. (My relatively ancient mind remembers the words "Ebola virus", for example. But I digress.)
So, the cautious Mom in me is praying like I have never prayed before for Young Son and Young Girlfriend. Teenage shenanigans? Nothing compared to international travel. But the proud Mom in me? So in awe of the brave and adventurous spirit within these young hearts.
Hope you are having the time of your life, Young Son. But avoid having bananas on your person. Those monkeys needed to be avoided at all cost so you can continue on to more wonderful adventures.