Well, my son is off

To England with Grandma for a month. His first plane trips (Orlando to Newark, Newark to Heathrow or Gatwick, I forget which) his first long stay away from home, his first trip outside the US.

Will he remember to brush his teeth? Will they let him take on two carryon luggage pieces? What if he gets separated from Grandma? Will he get to do everything he wants to do? Will he have enough money? What if the plane crashes? :eek:

We’ve drilled into his head the MANDATORY gifts he MUST buy are for Grandma (for taking him) and his great uncle and aunt (for putting them up). He must not go anywhere without Grandma or Uncle or Aunt. He must not buy anything without consulting them. Grandma will hold onto his passport.

Sigh. He’s going to have a blast. I’m so happy my MIL decided to take him. But he’s gone a month and I’m going to miss him. And I’m going to worry about him.

When he goes off to college I’m going to be a nervous wreck, but at least he can call home.

Have a wonderful time, sweetie. Don’t forget to write in your diary and remember to put your retainer back in your mouth after eating. And ask before taking a shower (I heard Uncle has to turn on the hot water heater) And ask before looking for a snack (I’m sure they’re unused to having a 16 year old growing boy around.) And keep your wallet in your front pocket. And…

I daresay he will 'phone you from England - it really is not prohibitively expensive for a short" save parents from worrying" call. But will he work out the time difference correctly or call in the middle of the night? :slight_smile: See, now you can worry about that. I hope he has a terrific time.

I think he was as excited to go to England as he was to get away from Mom and Dad.

My son and MIL got singled out for “special” screening. We were not allowed to follow them past the gate security, but they got waved to another area where my MIL was wanded (the pins in her knee set off security) and my son had to take off his boots and belt and dump his keys and Gameboy into the basket to be run through the conveyor belt.

He also had to open his retainer case to show there was nothing in it, since his retainer was in his mouth.

I hope Ivyboy has a great time. I, also, am losing a teenage boy to his grandma for a month tomorrow. He’s only going to South Carolina, so better than another continent, but damn I am going to miss him. And he’s flying alone… eek!
I know how you feel.

I have a 17 year old, I can’t believe his appetite. Do you think your son will remember all of your advice? I know how much you’ll miss him.

I hope your son has a blast of a vacation that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Who knows? Maybe someday when he’s older and sucessful he’ll want to go back for another visit and take you with him.

I’ll second this one! It always amazes - and horrifies me a bit - on American TV shows where people just wander into the kitchen in a friend’s house and help themselves to something from the fridge. When I was a kid I I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing that.

It’s England, not the Amazon jungle…

Do you only allow your son to go places with you, when he’s at home? Trust the boy a bit, he’s not a poodle :slight_smile: I spent a month in Ireland, staying with a local family, when I was 15 and I didn’t face any situations I wasn’t used to at home.

I was with an aunt and uncle for two weeks in Ireland back in '95 (I was 13), and did pretty well fine, except for the utter and complete void where social skills ought to have been. They, having raised children, had a vague idea about how much a growing child eats, and we had more of an issue with the way I sound when I laugh than anything else.

I flew there (from France, where my family had been staying previous to that) alone, and flew back to the states alone.

Magically and mysteriously, I am still alive. I’ve no clue how much my parents worried, and honestly that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time, because, hello, being without my incredibly annoying wish-I-could-disown-them family and in a place with girls who didn’t know me;)

(…oh crap. Don’t worry about girls. Really.)

Worry not. I’m nineteen, and at the end of April, my parents dropped me off at the airport and I got on a plane for Ireland. No family or friends here: they had to trust that I’d be able to find a job, a place to live, etc, mostly on my own. I did, and am having a great time. Next week, I head on over to England and will basically do the same thing - find a place to live, a job, navigate public transport on my own, all that. He’ll be fine.

Though I know from my own experience that telling parents to stop worrying is sort of like telling gravity to stop working: you can try, but it’s not happening.

Also, if he has internet access there (even via a webcafe), you guys might want to look into Skype. Free computer-to-computer voice calls. Just download the software, and as long as you both have speakers and a microphone, you can chat all you want.

I do trust him, but this is the first time he’s gone somewhere where I can’t easily get to him in case of an emergency. He’s gone to Boy Scout camp for a week, but that was only an hour’s drive away. He’s spent the night at friends’ and family’s, but again, I was able to talk to him on the phone.

He’ll have a blast, I know. I’m glad he’s gone. But a piece of my heart is in England and I miss it.

Oh, and Sparrow, it depends on the situation. He will ask before grabbing a snack at a friend’s or a relative’s, since we’re casual with each other. Nothing formal. But 16-year-old boys can eat, and my childless Aunt and Uncle In Law are no doubt unused to that. Hence the admonitions.

The apron strings are getting a bit frayed, that’s all. I know it had to happen, but dammit, 16 years is too short.

Time really flies when you’re a parent.

Chances are the relatives will offer him food every time he enters the room.

It is just what relatives do. Fatten us up or try to shut us up.
I was 13 and 14 when I spent two of the best summers evar at my uncles down in Florida. My mom was a nervous wreck about so many things ( panic attacks are just so much fun.) and my uncle just ignored her. ( YAY for big brothers like that.)

The only major transgression that I did, and really caught hell for it, was that in a house full of kids down there, it never dawned on me that other kids might like to eat this new fangled ice cream called Polar Bars. OMFG, I loved those things. I think it was the first time I ever had one and, well, you just can’t have one, can you?

When my aunt returned from Piggly Wiggly with the groceries, I started with the one she offered, and by the time all the kids and my uncle came home from where ever, I had eaten them all. I had this freakish thing called a Metabolism back then.

My uncle, seeing all the wrappers in the garbage was about the yell at his horde of children for eating like jackals on a carcass. Casually I said, " I ate them."

“All of them?”

" Yeah. why?"

" You’re cousins are going to get you for that."

And they did.

Heh. I did that to my father when I was on a class trip in Paris. I was so excited to call home that I forgot it was 6 am there. :smack: My normally irritable Pop was surprisingly even-tempered about it!

My SIL did that when she was in FL and we were in CA. She was in her 30s, and thought that 8am her time was 11 am our time. On a Saturday! :smack:

He’s 16, he is pretty much grown up, so he’ll have no problems.

Sorry, must disagree there. This is the same child who rolls his eyes at me when I ask if he has his retainer and his wallet, yet runs down the street in his socks.

He will have no problems. But grown up? Not yet.