HER BACK-PACK IS ALMOST AS BIG AS SHE IS.
But on Wednesday, my 19-year-old daughter, who will turn 20 on May 3, left with her friend Caitlin on a trip to Europe.
They're scheduled to return on July 9 after having visited Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Venice, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Greece, Florence, La Spezia, Nice and London.
Wow. Double Wow. I'm envious of her, afraid for her, supremely proud of her, knowing of what this will mean for her and her life (because she'll never forget it), angry with her for not consulting me more...
But she's so independent and didn't want anybody to hold her hand or to have people tell her how to feel or how to act or what to watch for...it's perfect, even with all those things.
The strings are cut, at least in some ways. I hope to follow her progress on her blog about it on MySpace. She should be in Paris by now after having arrived safely in London (yes, I checked).
Getting out of your environment and into another is a critical, life-enriching experience that no one who has never done it will ever know. And I'm not talking about trips to Disneyland or the Mexican Riviera.
OK, Dad. Butt out.