This year, Arleigh is an ambassador at her school. She will give tours, help little ones find their classrooms and just generally be Arleigh. She is excited. Her fourth grade teacher loved her. What’s not to love right? She is that kid that tries hard and when it’s time to be recognized for it, I’m frankly shocked when it’s not her. If we were in school together, she might have been the girl that annoyed me because the teachers loved her.

Anyway, I’m not sure if her teacher nominated her or if it’s part of the drill of being an ambassador or some other flukey way that it happened, but we got a letter in the mail. The letter is from a reputable agency as far as I can see, inviting Arleigh to participate with other 5th and 6th graders from our area in an international study program. This particular program is headed for Canada to learn about economics, politics, etc.

My child, who will be 11 in December and has actually traveled a lot but who has never been away from me for longer than 48 hours was asked to travel to another country without me. WITHOUT ME. While I can see that this might be an excellent opportunity, it will fall in the middle of a move, in the middle of adjusting to a new brother and I’m not sure it’s the best time. There’s also the fact that we got that phone call a few weeks ago while she was two miles away…

It also happens that before I got my mail yesterday I was talking to a friend who happens to be from Scotland. We were talking about a little girl that is staying with friends of ours on a Ukraine hosting program. I was telling her what a hard time the little girl is having. Then I heard my friend’s story. She was sent to France to study with another family for 3 months when she was about Arleigh’s age. She hated every second of it. The language was difficult. Her knowledge was sparse and her host family was downright mean.

Arleigh… loves the fact that she was invited. In fact the child hasn’t picked up the phone to call her grandparents in a while. This morning she called them to talk about it.

I know I’m supposed to cut the apron strings at some point… but fifth grade, really? I was an exchange student for one week… a post for another day… it was awful interesting. I’m leaning to saying NOOOO! I would love to hear what you think.