But tomorrow morning, super early, he is leaving for nearly 2 months. If he gets his return ticket changed as he is planning, he won't be back home until December 20. (!)
December 20! 7.5 weeks. EEK. I know that he is going to be going away to college in less than a year, and I should be thinking of this as preparation and practice for both him and us, but I am not sure I am ready. I know that our job as parents is to raise our child to WANT to leave the nest and strike out on his own and make a life for himself in the world, but I am REALLY not sure I am ready. Are you ever ready, as a parent? Or do you just accept the inevitable, more or less, and make the best of it?
I am really proud of him for going through with this plan, for the work he and his friends have put into it and all the things that they have done to make it happen, but it's not really hit me yet that my firstborn is actually taking his first steps toward leaving home. 7.5 weeks this time...and forever the next?
Who is going to go for walks with me? Who is going to watch TV shows with me? Who is going to laugh at the same things I find funny and give me shit and take me down a peg when I need it? Poor Karin can't do it all on her own, haha!
He is all packed, except his toothbrush, and ready to go...he is leaving the house at 3:50 a.m. tonight/tomorrow and Frida's father is driving them to the train station in Lund, where they will take the train to Copenhagen airport. Their flight leaves at 7 for Frankfurt, and they only have 1.5 hours to get through that crazy airport to catch their next flight to Panama City. Their last leg is from there to Lima, Peru, and they arrive at 11:05 p.m. but are staying with one of Claudia's relatives there.
They will spend 3 days in Lima and then leave for Arequipa where they're staying with Claudia's aunt for a week, then they go to Puno, Cusco and Macchu Picchu. On November 15 Claudia is going to her grandmother's home in Abancay and Martin and Frida are going back to Cusco by themselves until November 20 (EEK!!!). Then they will join Claudia in Abancay and stay there until December 7 which is Martin's birthday. They leave that day to return to Lima for another 3 days before starting the trip home on December 10.
They are flying together from Lima to Toronto, where Martin will hop off, after hopefully having changed his return ticket. He is being picked up by a friend in Toronto and they are heading to Detroit, where he'll spend 6 days with his friend and then 3 days with my mom before flying home to Sweden from Detroit. Whew!
He's promised to stay in touch, to SMS and post photos and Skype as often as possible, depending on wi-fi availability, and hopefully everything will go smoothly and they will have a fabulous time and come home with entertaining stories and a million photos of the beautiful and cool things they have seen and done.
I find it comforting that his return home coincides with the shortest day of the year...that means the light will start returning and I'll have my boy home again, where he belongs...for now.
Today, Anders and Martin and I went to the Häckaberga Nature Preserve for several hours. Karin was working, so she couldn't accompany us. The sun was shining, the sky was clear and the temperature, while a little chilly, was warmer than expected. The woods are still gorgeous with autumn colors, and lots of leaves still on the oak, beech, birch and maples. Anders brought his mountain bike and took off for a trail around the lake, while Martin and I tramped through the woods. We had about an hour and a half, and after 45 minutes, found ourselves on a road outside of the nature preserve, that led to Häckaberga castle and the lake. So, despite the lack of sidewalks or even shoulders, we went ahead and walked along the verge until we got there, and then realized we were going to be late to get back and meet Anders at the car, so we turned around and headed back. He caught up to us when we were about 15 minutes away from the car park, though, so we felt like we'd timed it rather well. Both of us took a ton of photos, and I'll be sharing mine in the next couple of days over on Instagram.
Looking forward to: a short work week, a mini-vacation, and hearing from Martin once he's landed in Peru!