I wish I were the kind of mother who could just sink into excitement about the adventure my daughter is about to have. She will be in Italy for the next five weeks, leaving on Monday evening. She will be in Rome, then in a village in the hills above Naples, then in the Piedmont region in northern Italy, and finally in Venice. She will do a family homestay and spend two weeks being instructed by slow food movement chefs in a famous cooking school. She will meet new friends. She has already begun talking to some of the kids in her group on Facebook. They are all foodies, a varied group geographically and culturally, and it should be great fun!
Unfortunately, I am the kind of mother who is bent on spending this last week before my daughter leaves trying to come up with every scenario that I need to prepare her for, some of them quite dire! Fortunately, my girl knows her mother, and is resolved to just indulge my fears and imaginings, patiently reassuring me at every turn. She just has to get through one more week of this, and then she'll be free to experience how life is lived on the other side of the world. Will I be able to think of everything she might need, everything I should tell her, all possible eventualities? Of course not. I have to do that thing my own mother has always preached with perfect, serene faith: Let go and let God.