Kid 4 is on her annual Honor Society trip right now. This is the trip that for the past two years she has earned every dollar for the cost of the trip herself by babysitting, cleaning other peoples houses and doing odd jobs for friends. For a year she has saved birthday and Christmas money. She earns and deserves these trips.
This year she is taking over New York City.
Many people have asked how I can just let my kids get on a plane or go away without me. My kids are smart, independent and self reliant. I have raised them to take care of themselves and be savvy.
When I am away I call home once per day and talk to each of the kids. You'd think that with six kids it would be a long phone call. Not usually.
Each kid will get on the phone, say yes their homework is done, ask if I left any money for junk food and then quickly pass the phone along to a sibling. Any other important updates (important meaning did I leave money) are done via text during the day.
My kids are experienced travelers. They've been flying alone since they were ten years old and navigating flight changes on their own since about 14. When they travel, there is also limited contact. I only require one text per day saying you are alive and having fun.
Many times I have literally gotten one text per day saying "I'm alive and having fun."
As I sat in Starbucks tonight getting some writing done, I got my daily text from Kid 4. It made me literally laugh out loud.
Here are the daily texts I've gotten this week:
- I told you I needed an appointment with the chiropractor before I left my back is killing me. (OK, but at least she's alive!)
- There were these people walking around Times Square BUTT NAKED they were painted red, white and blue. (Send me a picture. No picture sent)
- What was Nana's maiden name? (Oh good she's at Ellis Island and actually getting some education on this trip)
- I bought a selfie stick! (How much did you pay for that??? No response)
- The roller coaster I'm about to go on says don't go if you have back problems. I'm going anyway. (Good girl, I would too. Her back hurts but obviously she is still alive!)
And now for the text I got tonight that is the weirdest text of all:
- I literally just peed my pants in Times Square
It's been an hour and no response.
But, hey, she's still alive!