Thursday, May 17, 2012

What - Me, Jealous?


London, which I am totally not jealous about not getting to visit.
*A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. -Robert A. Heinlein

Great excitement is brewing in the Asia Vu household as the final preparations are being made for Son#2's departure for London with his school group.  Suitcases have been pulled out of the closets, lists consulted, piles of clothes excavated from under furniture made ready for packing, Won exchanged for Pounds, camera batteries charged - you know the drill.

This is the first time (except for Summer Camp) that Son#2 will have been away from home so long, and his first trip to another country without his family, which used to be the sort of thing children did in their Junior Year Abroad, when they were about 21 and significantly closer to adulthood.  Of course, as with everything in the Modern Era, things are happening at an earlier and earlier age, which means that Son#2 is off on his first solo international jaunt at the tender age of 15 which, now that MsCaroline thinks of it, is really entirely too young.

MrLogical is taking the upcoming separation calmly in stride as is the way of fathers (do we really have to take him all the way to the airport? Can't we just put him on a bus?) while MsCaroline is slightly more apprehensive (at least one email or text every single day, understood? And stay with the group! Keep your wallet in your front pocket, and don't carry all your cash in it!) Apprehension notwithstanding, MsCaroline has been through this before with Son#1 and therefore in theory is handling the whole thing with complete relative sangfroid.

As his mother, MsCaroline is delighted and absolutely not jealous that Son#2 is able to have this tremendous opportunity to visit another country and experience some of the world's most famous sights that he didn't even know existed until she explained what they were.  He'll be attending a number of shows while he's there, including The Lion King, Babel, and Wicked and hopefully not wearing a t-shirt and torn jeans to any of them.  He'll tour Westminster Abby (It's a very big church, dear.  A lot of famous people are buried there) picnic along the Thames (Rhymes with 'hems' darling;  and the 'th' is pronounced as a 't',) go to Madame Tussaud's (Well, it's sort of like the original Ripley's Believe it or Not, but much older) and visit Abbey Road (You've heard of the Beatles, right? Well, they had this album, and...oh, never mind.)  


At the end of the day, of course, MsCaroline realizes she is fooling no one.  She is wildly, crazily, impossibly jealous of Son#2 and his incredible good fortune;  she would love to just take a week off work and go to London; she would love to see some beautiful buildings and historical sights; she would like to watch some outstanding shows, and find her favorite bloggers who live in the UK and stalk them meet them in person.

She would not even whine about the rain or the cold weather.  Not even once.

Of course, if Mr. Heinlein's quote* is to be believed, she  is also an insecure neurotic, but that really has no bearing on this discussion and - besides that - it is only Mr. Heinlein's opinion anyway.

Yes, if the truth must be told, MsCaroline is jealous.  But, in the inexplicable manner that mothers have, she is also delighted and happy for Son#2 in a way that makes any jealousy quite insignificant.  She can't wait for his horizons to be expanded, his understanding of history enhanced, and for his developing world view to be changed in a way that can only come from traveling to another country. (If MsCaroline were not so high-minded, she would also point out that she is very happy that this tour is a lot cheaper flying from Seoul than it would have been flying from the US, but let us not lower our level of discourse.)

Besides...she's already started planning her own trip.


Bon Voyage, Son#2.  









16 comments:

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

I've seen The Lion King but not the other two - although, as you know, have sung a few songs from Wicked (who could forget 'One Short Day in the Haemorrhoid City') - but all trips to the theatre in London are exciting so he will have a brilliant time.

I hope he keeps with the 'one text a day' rule I imposed when my son went to France for a week. It worked for us!
Can't wait to hear how he gets on x

MsCaroline said...

Trish - he is wildly excited, and I'm sure he will have the time of his life!

As far as the 'text a day' rule goes - I thought it was such a clever idea when you wrote about having Rory do it that I made a mental note - blatant thievery is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

MTFF said...

Plan your trip. Go alone. Can't recommend it enough. I was away from London for six years before it occurred to me that as an adult I was *allowed* to go home and I could do it without the mantle of motherhood or work.
It's soul-saving.
xo

Wilma said...

Sounds like a great trip. I went with a group when I was 14. Not just to London but also did one of those whirlwind tours of Europe as well. It was fun. No text or email back in those days. My parents just had to hope for the best. LOL

Just choose joy... said...

My younger daughter visited London a year ago and I was openly, nakedly jealous of her experiences.

But also so very happy that she had the opportunity.

Funny how kids seem to do pretty well on their own - someone must have done something right by them in the past :)

Circles in the Sand said...

Awwwww, I've got a tingly feeling! Over the excitement brewing in your household and that son2 will get to see my favourite city! I lived there for 7 years. And, yes, you must start planning your trip - and please come via Dubai! Wishing son2 a wonderful time! Love, just love the way you described London to him. great post!

MsCaroline said...

MTFF- thanks for stopping by! I like the suggestion and have been threatening to do it for years but always get sidetracked by parenting or work...it should go to the top of my priority list.

MsCaroline said...

Wilma -Lucky girl! I'm not sure my parents would have sanctioned that trip at 14 if we were living in the US. I did travel a lot in Europe, but we were living there, which made going to another country more like a trip from Virginia to Florida (if you get my convoluted logic.) What a tremendous opportunity, though, even if they had to just 'hope for the best' as you put it!

MsCaroline said...

Joy - Oh, good...it's not just me. Funny how you can be simultaneously jealous and thrilled, isn't it? I suppose it's one of the conundrums of motherhood. I have no doubt Son#2 will do absolutely fine on his own. It's probably a bonus that he's been living in a Metropolis of 15 Million+ for the last year - he's much more savvy than he was when we were living in the suburbs of Texas!

MsCaroline said...

Circles - I'm getting a tingly feeling, too, and sooooo wish I were going along - I'll just have to live vicariously through him, I suppose..My mum and I started planning a trip a few years ago, but as I recall, we ended up moving somewhere and I think that sort of put the kibosh on our plans. I should dust off those old tentative plans and start thinking about it again - *after* the Olympics, of course! And yes...I would love to visit Dubai - you have made it sound fabulous. I know it's hot, but it seems much more exotic than Seoul!

Karen said...

He should have a fabulous time, even though he never heard of most of the places he is going to visit. Best way to learn, isn't it?
I've seen Lion King (in Providence) and Wicked (in NY)...he should love both! I knew very little about Wicked, though I did make the girls find me a good synopsis so I could at least follow the plot. Loved it! Will be taking in a little theater in NY soon...or at least the kids will. We gave tickets to "Phantom of the Opera" to the girls and Josh for Leah's graduation present. The whole family will go to NY but decided that Mom and Dad would forgo the actual show to save some $$$. We should be able to occupy ourselves in NY while the kids see the show!! And for less than $200.
I will keep Son#2's safety in my prayers for a couple of weeks. I'm sure he will be fine!!

Wilma said...

Well, Carolyne, I was with my mother's best friend--not my favorite person on the face of the earth but I was willing to put up with her to get to go. :) That was the summer before I started high school. My freshman year of high school I flew completely solo to Toronto from Tucson to visit friends we had met in Canada several years before. Also the summer before my junior year I went to Japan on a summer exchange. So I did my share of travelling sans parents as a teen-ager. LOL

MsCaroline said...

Karen- I've not seen either, although I'm going to try and see Wicked while it's here in Seoul (should be interesting in Korean!)I think it will be a fabulous experience for him, and I really am glad he's going...even if I am a little jealous!

MsCaroline said...

Wilma - ah, you were with a family friend - that would work for me! I didn't make my first solo transatlantic flight (eg, no friends, no family, no school group) until I was 16, when I flew alone from Germany to visit friends in the US. I traveled frequently within Europe, but usually by train, not as often by plane, and usually with a school group (although I did backpack with friends in the summers.) I really wasn't that much older than Cullen, and felt that I handled myself completely competently, but as a mother, 15 seems young to be jaunting off to another continent. I never claimed to be thinking rationally!

BavarianSojourn said...

And you should plan your own trip. I know you would have a ball! By the way, I hope he has plenty of camera batteries, London is looking very festive at the moment! :)

MsCaroline said...

Emma - My mother and I have been talking about doing it for years, and things keep getting in the way. Maybe this will move us into high gear and it will really happen! Oh, and he has a rechargeable battery, so he should be OK as long as he remembers to charge it and put it back in the camera....