Thursday, September 20, 2012

Big Steps


Today my firstborn is heading to Japan for 2 weeks, on a school trip. He will be living with a Japanese family in Tokyo and going to school there, fully immersed in the language and the culture.

He loves his Japanese and has never gotten anything lower than an A+... ever! .... in his favourite subject.... for the past 6 years. He has worked so hard, not just in Japanese, but in every subject. He sits up late every night, studying, 'assignment-ing', doing the extra optional everything that gets handed out. Grade 9 for goodness sake! He's last to bed, turns the lights out. He wants to do well. He wants to do Medicine. I had to give him this wonderful opportunity. Just. Had. To. To say thank you for working so hard, with such focus and positivity..... for appreciating the opportunities that come his way.

I have done the, 'do you know how lucky you are?', waffle, over and over... and the "I had to pay my own way through Uni for 5 years, working at that damn fruit shop checkout for 5 years! ... then work for 2 years in my new profession and then get overseas and work my guts out to do anything remotely as exciting as what you're getting to do at this age' lecture. He keeps saying thank you.....I hope he appreciates it all. You can't inspire or teach appreciation, can you? I would have died to have had this opportunity when I was his age.

So anyway, my heart is a bit fragile today. It's hard to let go, let him be free, let him grow up, let him out of my sight! It's a big busy city, Tokyo... with my beautiful boy in it .....without me to protect him.

Digging deep these next 2 weeks. Little one is intensely grieving already. 2 weeks is a long time.
How do we do this?
Photobucket

48 comments:

  1. It's the right thing to do but oh so hard......
    Keep busy busy busy ;o)
    Tania xx

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    1. Yes, busy, busy... lots of shed time!.. with little one in tow... armed with computer games and skateboards! xx

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  2. I heard someone say recently describe Tokyo as a mix of two of your favourite cities- Melbourne and Paris! There you go. So hard letting go. It is like part of you is missing. Thinking of you.

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    1. Oh is it?? I have never been. Sounds like paradise. Thank you. xx

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  3. Tears here! Gosh, would be so hard to do but you must be so proud as well and it's the experience of a lifetime for him, something he will always remember and tell his children and grandchildren in the future, we have the first ever 2 night school camp coming up soon however and we are all hopeless already, we are thinking of hiring a luxury camper van with cable etc for 4 of us mums and parking it quietly and secretly near the dormitory site and watching with binoculars! Just keep busy and plan lots of activities for younger one, Mxxxox

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    1. Oh M, I can so imagine you doing that! You crack me up! Can't wait until you get up here! xx

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  4. It is hard to let go but you know he will grow,learn & come back even more mature then when he left two weeks before.So hard being a Mum sometimes we just want to protect them all the time but the reality is you can't be with them 24/7 even when they are in the same country, so you just have to have faith that all will be OK. Great opportunity for him & it sounds as though he has earned it.

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    1. You are right. He will be different when he comes back. Just yesterday I was pushing him in his pram... in the blink of an eye. A-M xx

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  5. Big one is so very lucky. What a wonderful opportunity for him. Little one will get to have lots of special "Mum and Me" time. Perhaps half way through he could write his brother a letter to give to him when he gets home. For your sakes I hope the 2 weeks go quickly and without too many tears.

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    1. Great idea! Little one is good at the mushy letters. He sent me one when I was in NYC with no prompting to do so. I am sure the letters will start in a few days time! A-M xx

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  6. It's very hard isn't it...to let them go...my 9 year old was at camp this week for 3 days, longest 3 days ever I tell you! My second eldest (now 22) went to Thailand in July, longest 10 days ever...I tried to keep busy but their presence and what was missing was never far from my thoughts. The fact that they were having a good time was reassuring and helped me get through! I was grateful to know that the experience far out-weighed my feelings of missing them. Hang in there, it'll be over before you know it! x

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  7. Hi AM, What a wonderful opportunity for him. I totally hear you though.. my year 5 boy recently went to camp for two nights (don't think I slept), he of course had a ball. Your little man sounds like a sensible hard working boy, you must be so so proud. He'll be fine. As for mummy, keep busy as heck and enjoy some time with your little guy. Hope the time flies for you. Jo x

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  8. What a great opportunity you've given him. I'm sure he knows how lucky he is - you've done such a great job raising those boys. Just think of all the positives of the trip to help you get through. Little one will just have to do some more bug hunting to get him through.

    TDM xxx

    Ps we can lunch to fill the void

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  9. Oh A-M your son sounds like such a wonderful boy, very much like my second boy. I used to worry that the opportunities we gave to him were not appreciated, but you know that kind of child does appreciate everything. They have a kind heart and a giving soul. You are doing an amazing job and the rewards for you and for him will be worth every minute. Lots of hugs from one mum to another. xToni

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  10. What a fab opportunity...you are just so great with your boys. I'm sure he will have most interesting time and make the most of this chance! Yep...you will have to keep busy meantime, take care xoxo

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    1. First thing we did when we got home from the airport was fold the washing! Keeping busy! Xx

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  11. Who will miss him most? You or the little one. A tough couple of weeks ahead. Hope you spend plenty of cuddle time with your youngest and keep very busy. I am sure he will have a ball.

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    1. Little one slept in his brothers bed last night. It's going to be a long 2 weeks! Xx

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  12. Congratulations to you for making such a brave, inspiring decision! Seeing how big and wonderful the world is at a young age is an incredible opportunity. You should be very proud of yourself for having the courage to give this gift to your son.

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  13. What a wonderful opportunity for your kidlet A-M! You've definitely made the right decision in allowing him to go, but oh, so hard! I agree with Tania and Deb, just keep you head down and tail up and keep super busy :)
    Cas x

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  14. My daughter (same age as ur no 1 son) will have that opportunity at the end of next year - but to south of France. Her French is beautiful. I too never had such an opportunity and we as a family will try and tag along for part of her trip. If we can't all go then she doesn't get to go either-this was the deal.
    But, your post has me thinking otherwise. Maybe it IS okay to reward her with the trip for all the excellent grades and hard work she puts in to getting a great education.She has the same work-ethic as your son, and I don't think you can teach that dedication, they're born that way. We are so lucky.
    Maybe I shouldn't be so selfish and narrow-minded.
    You've given me something to think about and I feel better about it all.
    Thanks A-M.
    WEll done on being brave enough to let him spread his wings. they let us know, don't they, when they're ready to branch out a little...

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  15. He will have the time of his young life and travel can be an education itself. I still can't believe his work ethic...he'll go far with such dedication. You'll probably relish the one-on-one time with K...they grow too fast! xx

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  16. You and your Darling boys are an inspiration.
    Be Well,
    Jen

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  17. It is always hard when our babies go away without us!
    My 17 YO has turned down a wonderful opportunity to go to Vanuatu for 10 days at the end of the year and I am so disappointed- I would have given anything to go overseas at his age! I am 44 and have still never been OS, the closest I am getting is Norfolk Island in a couple of weeks!

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  18. Hard for you but what a great opportunity for such a hard working boy. You must be so proud of him.

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  19. You are the most gorgeous caring mum A-M. He is so lucky to have you <3

    B

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  20. That sounds just amazing, will be fantastic I´m sure! :-)

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  21. excuse me, that photo makes me a bit sad because they grow so FAST!!!

    Scary.

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    1. Really fast. His childhood is over. He has so many responsibilities now. Those carefree days are over. In the blink of an eye. Xx

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  22. A-M, we gave our daughter the opportunity to live in France for 5 months with a host family when she was in year 11. She also worked hard at her part time job and saved $4000 herself to put towards the costs.
    I was really sad when she went (and a little worried about the family she would get) and I felt like a part of me was missing for a good few days. I needn't have worried, she got a great family and love every little thing about it. She has been back for 8 months now and is already planning her return trip for this time next year.
    Her French host sister stayed with us for 6 weeks recently also.
    I hope he has a wonderful time. It will change him for the better.

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  23. Bless the children who become our future doctors. When I see or hear of a brilliant child who does well at school and who aspires to be a doctor, surgeon or scientist my heart jumps for joy. These children will one day save our lives or find cures for diseases. You have every single right to be very proud of your son's achievements and I hope he achieves his dream of becoming a doctor.

    Mrs B xxx

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  24. That photo is a heart-melter! Best put it away while you wait out the next couple of weeks.

    I can't imagine that feeling of letting go, BUT what a chance you couldn't pass up!

    He will go far with big dreams like that.

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  25. He will have a great time...Tokyo is fascinating..can't say I noticed a resemblance to Paris but now I come to think of it Tokyo Tower is a like a red and white Eiffel Tower. Hope he gets a chance to go up the Sky Tree which is the newest and tallest tower. Tokyo certainly has enough bakeries and restaurants to keep any foodie happy. Hope you will share his impressions of Japan after he gets back.
    Love your blog..both for the wonderful designs and for the stories of people and places you visit. Happy for you that you will be all together as a family again
    lots of love, Denise in Osaka
    PS Any news of Bill?

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  26. This is GREAT! When I was in grade 8, I had the oppertunity to go to Spain for 2 weeks with my best friend. We stayed with her aunt and uncle there. Eventhough we could not speak Spanish or had classes yet, we had a tremendous learning experience. We got see life outside of our bubble. It has stayed with me and has given me different perspectives on life, people and the world. This would be great for all children to experience. Hang in there. Just think of all of the stories he will have when he comes back and how excited he will be. Love, Heidi

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  27. Do not worry. My 16 year old daughter was in England studying for one month. Reached soon, happy, mature, grateful for your family, more loving. We can surprise us as our children are prepared to fly alone, it means we did a good job. Receive them in the back is incomparable!
    Kisses from Brasil!

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  28. Is that him? I'd be a mess too. He is stunning! My daughter was 12 when she went with the choir to New york. I actually thought I was being irresponsible letting her go without me. But what stories she tells now and how grown up and experienced she seems. Wish him a wonderful time. You must be so proud of him.G.x

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  29. Oh yes, that's him! 10 years ago when he was five, in our old grassy backyard, in front of his beloved cubby. I remember that day of the photo so vividly as his little brother, who was only about 8 months old at the time was in the playpen below him. I used to whack up that playpen on the grass and throw the two of them in there and they'd play for hours. With a five year age gap, they always got on so well. This photo is the spitting image of my little one now at 10 yrs of age. Xx

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  30. Thank you for all your wonderful comments. He has just emailed me from Singapore to say he had a great flight there. Ugh, all night after a big day at school! They are going to be shattered not sleeping for 2 days! They arrive in Tokyo later today. He sounded excited and happy in his email... That's all a Mum could ask for. Travel happy my son. Soak it all in. It's only the beginning of a wonderful travel filled life! Xx

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  31. Um, Skype? It will pass so quickly - of course if you want letters to keep, no Skype!

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  32. I let my 15 year old daughter go to France for an exchange two years ago! The scariest moment was watching the plane fly over my head and realising that 'my baby' was on board and had to change planes ALL BY HERSELF! Thank goodness for technology and skype otherwise she and I would have had a major meltdown. She is now about to do her VCE and her french is and always has been A+ She worked at a job and paid a third and is appreciative but yes I NEVER HAD or will have her opportunities!!!!We always want better for our kids don't we!

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  33. Wow! Tough indeed. He still seems such a little tyke. Shhh, don't tell him I said so! You really don't need the appreciation right now. After all, he hasn't had the experience yet, but later he will appreciate this opportunity and remember it for the rest of his life. As the saying goes: we must also give them wings.
    Tricia Rose is right -- Skype, Skype, Skype!

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  34. Sooo exciting for him, so daunting for you! I can't begin to know how I'll 'let them go' in all these things that will happen in life but it sounds like if anyone deserves it, with his grades and study etc, then it's him! All the best, imagine the reunion when he gets home! :)
    Jxx

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  35. PS Almost forgot, that photo of your son is just adorable, so cute (though he probably doesn't like to be referred to as cute!!!)

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  36. My eldest did a trip to Japan when she was at school as part of her language study. She had the most wonderful time and as an adult now is jetting off for her third trip to Japan in November! Keeping busy and in -touch with skype or viber kept me sane and keeping busy shrinks the time for missing them! It's a huge and wonderful opportunity that not all children can have. Lucky boy! x KL

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx