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I tried not to bug a lot about setting up a blog before he left, but I did mention it several times as a good way to stay in touch and to let us know how he is doing. My son dismissed me and said he’d keep a log or a journal or a blog or something, but leave me alone about it, Mom. So I did, fearing he’d be his usual procrastinating self and leave it to the last day of his year-long stay with a host family in South America. I quietly left him alone resigning myself to the idea that he might not let me know the details of his stay there, and that that would be his prerogative. After all, he is a cranky teenager. My job is to get him there and point him in the direction of getting the most out of his fantastic opportunity. I told him that directly, that I was trying to help him get the most out of his fantastic opportunity and not just bugging him.

Today, nearly 48 hours after waving goodbye at the Philadelphia airport I see he has posted a lengthy description of his experience so far. It is filled with all the details I need to know that he is fine: he attended a family dinner with what he called ‘thousands’ of people, that a little boy helped him learn to play a card game at the party, that he gave gifts to his hosts, that he is unpacked and relaxed, that he is traveling to a lagoon tomorrow, that he is comfortable and content and that he knows to put the difficult-to-use possessive apostrophe on a word correctly! Yeah, he apparently got many educations under our care and is using them!!

Nagging is not useful for much. I fight it because it tends to be mindless, and droning, and negative. I had a serious conversation once about why a blog would be great, then I brought it up again, but when he told me alright already I was reminded that this is his experience, not mine. Whether my kid won’t stop hitting his sister, or won’t pick up his clothes or won’t create a blog, somehow the message that we care gets through, and I feel that because we have shown respect in others ways he shows respect back by listening, even when it seems like he isn’t.

Here’s the link to his blog if you want to look: andrewinecuador.tumblr.com