Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A mom stresses about sending a child on a spring break trip to Spain March 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:04 AM

See that purple country there on the globe. My boy will call Spain his home during spring break.

IN LESS THAN 24 hours, my boy will be on his way to Spain.

And, yes, my level of anxiety is high. He’s my youngest, after all, and an inexperienced traveler to boot. Fortunately, my 16-year-old is going with four adults who are chaperoning this high school Spanish class. “Take care of my baby,” I advised one of them last night.

Wednesday had been an especially stressful day for me as I began going through check lists, packing and rechecking.

Did I mention that if my son was packing, he would likely do it 10 minutes before leaving and then forget something? Maybe it’s a boy thing. Or perhaps it’s his age. But my daughters always did their own organizing and packing upon leaving for trips abroad.

They’ve been to Paraguay and Costa Rica and Argentina, all during college, not high school. My second daughter studied in South America for six months and hopes to return there upon college graduation in May. I should be used to this, right? Not.

But back to Wednesday and all that stress.

Everything was going fine until I couldn’t find my boy’s debit card. It wasn’t where I thought it should be. So I searched the other two locations where I may have stashed it. Three times. My efforts proved futile.

A quick scan of my son’s room also failed to turn up the debit card. So, I figured he had hidden it.

Of course, when he arrived home from school, he said, “I don’t have it. You have it.”

“No, I don’t,” I answered. Tempers flared. Voices rose.

I searched again, and found the card lying on the floor of a closet. It apparently fell out of his passport.

I apologized to my teen.

So today I am washing clothes, doing last-minute packing and wondering if my friend Janet (not her real name because she doesn’t want her husband to know about this) has found her daughter’s passport. As of last night, the passport was still missing.

Now that, I think, is worse than a missing debit card.

There will be a big, wide ocean between me and my son. I'm going to pretend he is elsewhere, maybe some place closer like Chicago. Yeah, that's how I'll cope.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling