I spent my early morning hours yesterday at the airport sending our second exchange student on her way home. It didn’t get any easier this year. It was like watching a part of me walk away, knowing that most likely, I’ll never see her again. She’s spent 10 months in our home so she’s become “one of ours.” I know it’s selfish of me to not want to send them home to their own parents.
As I sat in the very same airport last June, watching another student sob and tell me how much she was going to miss me, I thought to myself how I could ever consider doing this again. Yet, the glutton for punishment that I am, just a short month and a half later, we had a bright Ukrainian student who began calling us “Mom” and “Dad” right away. As I was watching her leave yesterday, I was already counting the days until our “new” daughter arrives, go figure.
This year’s experience has taught me many things. Mainly, what to watch for as my daughter gets older. At 14, she hasn’t yet begun to cause some of the issues our 16 year-old-exchange daughter did. All teenage girl stuff for the most part, but it’s already sent me into “full alert” mode wanting to stop my child from making some of very same mistakes. To be completely honest, I think it’s more to protect myself from the worry and frustration, as well as the total shock at what they do sometimes.
I knew from the first act of defiance to the final “knock down drag out” between she and my husband in the airport as we were trying to get her boarded on the plane, that she was part of our family and always will be.
With all that said, it really has been a good year. We truly enjoying welcoming students into our home. It’s been good for us as well as our children. And, as an added plus, we have children all over the world now.
Night all. I promise something a little more clever, or at least entertaining in my next blog.