Time for summer fun and making memories. Trips to the beach, camping, spending time poolside, and summer travel. Usually our summer trips consisted of packing up the whole family in the minivan and making a few hour trip to a beach or amusement park for a few days of family bonding time. Since my son has joined the military our trips are usually mom, dad, and the girls. I missed having my baby boy in the group, but at least we had our girl to provide us with laughs and crazy memories.
However, this year will be very different when it comes to traveling. My girls will be taking their trips solo. No mom or dad. Oh no I am too young to be an empty nester. This cannot be!!! My girls are simply too young to do this on their own. I have to admit it they are growing up, the oldest will be a senior and my “baby” will be in her sophomore year of high school when the falls rolls around. I guess it is about that time where they will be spreading their wings and trying things out without the watchful eye of their mama and papa bear. It is good that we have raised competent and intelligent children that can go out into the world on their on, but there is still a part of me that wishes they needed me a little bit more for a little bit longer.
Okay I am done with my pity party. Let me tell you all about the wonderful places my baby has been and the awesome accomplishment my oldest has achieved.
Maddie, my beautiful youngest child, had the opportunity to accompany a group of kids from her high school to Europe for a 13 day tour of Switzerland, Italy, and France. What a great experience. Her group flew into Switzerland where she was able to take a gondola ride into the Alps. The views were exceptional and my adventurer loved the floating bridge.
Next they traveled into Italy. They made stops in Verona, Florence, Venice, Pisa, and Rome. So many wonderful sites. She stood underneath Juliet’s balcony, visited the Vatican City, and toured the Colosseum. Those were all great, but paled in comparison to the shopping. She loved the cute little shops, and brought back all the goodies to prove it.
Lastly, the group made their way to the Riviera and into France. Oh, Paris, the city for lovers. No, Maddie said it was the city for coffee lovers. She enjoys coffee and proclaimed that European coffee is far superior to our java. She did visit the Eiffel Tower and the Arch of Triumph, but it was during the floods and it kind of made Paris seem a little gloomy, but she still enjoyed the city and culture. But Maddie was ready to come back to her country home. She missed this crazy crew and her little dog buddies.
While Maddie was globetrotting Becca had a challenged placed in front of her. She is in JROTC in her high school, and has ambitions to move up the ranks and join their student staff. In order to do this she had to complete Leadership Academy at Riverside Military Academy in north GA.
This is not a summer camp filled with swimming, canoeing, and camp fires. Not at all. It is a junior boot camp. She heard the horror stories for weeks, screaming PA’s, extreme workouts in the summer heat, and military bearing during all events. Becca was scared out of her socks that she would fail.
We said our prayers and encouraged her, but it was up to her. I knew she had this, but she was worried. Everyday they did not call us to come get her was a little more relief. As the week ended and she could finally call us the day before graduation, I jumped out of my socks to hear excitement in her voice. She survived, no she triumphed. Becca did things, including setting up a military quality room and getting top inspection marks, she never thought she could accomplish. Of course this mom was a little teary eyed to see her baby marching in and receiving her cords. I was glad she did so well, but it was nice to have her grab me in a bear hug and tell us all she missed her home.
I am very happy my girls were able to have their own adventures, but I am even happier they are back where they belong. Of course that is under the care of their mom and dad. It is pretty clear they are content with home, but I know it won’t be long until they are ready to spread their wings again.