The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

April 14, 2008

Big Birthday, Big Trip; Little Girl, Big Girl



That's right, it's another landmark in our lives. My daughter turns 20 on May 3, but she won't be here.

She'll be in Europe, travelling to places like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Venice, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Greece, Florence and Nice.

She's leaving April 29 and isn't coming back until July. She's travelling with one friend in what will be the voyage of her young life.

She's saved for most of the trip herself, although she's getting help, of course.

There's a big party later this month on my side of the family to honour a whole bunch of my family's birthdays, including hers, and to send her off properly.

It's possible I'll be out of town, in neighbouring Saskatchewan covering a hockey series, and won't be able to attend that party.

So this past weekend, I took her and her brother out to her favourite place for dinner.

I should be taking them out every week like this, because we never have as much fun as we do when we go out for dinner. We all laugh at each other and tease each other, and more often than not, she's the target.

So here's what that was all about. (Note my son's goofy expression in the pic below)

One of the highlights is always my son's eating habits. He eats like a horse, but he's supremely picky.
And he plays with his food. When he finds something to play with, everybody has to know about it.
And in this case, he found what he claimed was a baby octopus.

Sadly, I had to agree with him. The picture above is blurry. But that's what it looks like.
And his dish did include calamari. Anyway, we had fun with it. He even had to take a pic of it.

I had to get them to do their normal goofy pose...and then it was time for dessert...

Several hours before this, I had told her she had to keep in touch with me and let me know where she was and that she was safe.
Of course, she shrugged it all off and said she and her friend planned on starting a blog to keep all of us informed.
She didn't want to hear it, but I explained how helpless I'll be feeling, unable to protect her or come to her rescue if something happens.
And I asked her to try to understand that feeling and to take seriously my need to know she's OK.
She acknowledged that and said she'll do her best.
All I can say is, EEK!


  1. She will be fine and will keep in touch as often as she remembers.... and yes, you will freak, but that is what being a dad is all about, isn't it? She's smart and sensible, from what you have said. And she will have a blast, with lots of memories to share with you when she gets home.

    She will always be your little girl... even when she is 45 and has a bunch of kids of her own! Of course, that would make you a grandpa at that stage... probably something you aren't ready to think about right now!!

  2. What an adventure! I am so excited for her.

    Totally understand the worries -- you're a parent after all.

    But oh, to be 20 again and have your whole life ahead of you!

  3. Tell me about it.
    My firstborn phoned from Paris and left me a message today. She is having a wonderful la-di-da time wandering around Europe.

    I got all verklempt after I listened to it and Alie had to give me a hug. I'm not worried about her (much) I just miss her and she is halfway around the world in grumpy old Frohnsss..

    I warned her of the grief that she'll receive from waiters there if she pronounces France in pants.

    What are ya gonna do?

  4. They are gorgeous kids!

    Hang in their Dad, it aint easy mate, they start trying their wings and we all hold our breath and hope they can fly okay.

    Her itinerary sounds wonderful, and she does have someone to travel with, that's something. It is all so exciting, wishing her the safest, and most fun travels....(maybe you could surprise her, and visit her in one of the cities?) :)

    I feel your pain.....the worry.

    But they are beautiful and exploring the world and developing and growing and learning....and saved for most of the journey, that is something you know!

    Good on her; safe happy travels.

    Beautiful kids.


  5. Your post made me cry! I love that little girl picture of her - makes me just want to hug her.

    I can't believe she's going to be so far away for 2-3 months. And I can't believe you may not be there for the party! That sucks in such a big way.

    You know she's going to be fine - right? She's smart and strong and very grounded. She's also not travelling alone. I'd be worried if she were travelling alone.

    I am so excited and happy for her, but when I imagine myself in your shoes, I just cry.

    (big sappy sigh)

  6. By the way, what was she eating? That looks good.

  7. Sounds like an awesome travel plan! I remember being 20, so full of life and energy and wisdom--well, confidence, at least. That's the age where we try to live life on our own terms and think we know it all...and it's a great time to discover new things...about the world around you and yourself.

    I left home the summer after high school, got a job and lived on my own since. It has been a great experience, and though I do remember my mother worrying at the time, I suppose I didn't really grasp her fears...but at that age, when just starting out, all you see is hope, and all you have is confidence and the will to see what you're made of, and ready to take on the world...

    She'll be fine, and though she may not show it, she'll be so grateful to have a parent (and family) who worry about her...

  8. Ponygirl:

    Yep, all that's probably correct and the sensible way of looking at it. But life isn't always sensible.


    It IS all about freaking, you're right.

    As for being a grandfather, I figure another 7-10 years might be enough time.


    Yeah, oh to be 20 again -- and know what I know now...


    I'll pass on your Fraunce pronounciation lesson promptly. It's the missing and the wondering...


    Thanks Pam, it's not that I don't think she can fly, it's just that I won't be anywhere close enough to help break her fall if she runs into something unexpected.

    But I guess I could die tomorrow crossing the street, so that ain't the way to look at it.

    I don't think she'd be thrilled with a surprise visit! It's that whole independence thing!


    Yeah, I love that pic too. And yeah, there's no choice but to convince yourself she's going to have a great time.

    So, big happy sigh here too. (I think)

    I can't remember the name of the dish she ordered. It was like chicken noodle salad or something.


    You've returned! And you're right about confidence and those other things that we might think we have at that age but don't really, yet.

    It's all about exploring and getting into a different environment and testing yourself.

    Your words are very wise.

  9. My sigh was sappy, not happy. But I'm happy you're happy! :)

  10. Mmmm... chicken noodle salad. I think you just triggered a new craving.

  11. Oh Chris....I feel your angst, I truly do. Our children are much the same age (my two eldest ones) I wonder how I'd feel if she were traveling off in Europe... She's heading back to college, two states away and that's far enough for me right now.

    If she's anything like her Daddy, I bet her travel blog will be spectacular!

    Hang in there!

  12. Anna:

    Sappy, happy...a sigh's a sigh's a sigh. And god knows you must be having all kinds of cravings now.

    Hope all continues to be well with the twins. And if I find out the real name of that chicken noodle thingy, I'll let you know.

    It's at Moxie's. I'm sure you have them in La Belle Province.


    Yeah, angst is the right word. But it's going to happen, she's going, she'll be thousands of miles away...

    I'll just have to grin and bear it. I'm sure she'll be fine. But I'll be watchin'...

  13. Nope, no Moxie's in La Belle Province. Guess you'll just have to deliver some. ;)


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