My interview with LJ, age 8
Where are you going this summer?
I’m going on a world trip. I’m going around the world.
How do you feel about that?
I’m excited and I’m not excited. I’m excited because I want to know where I’m going to celebrate my next birthday and I’m not excited because I’ll miss my friends.
What three places are you most excited to visit and why?
I'm excited to go back to An Bang (Vietnam) because there’s a big beach. Barcelona because I can see a soccer game. And England because I get to see some friends.
What do you hope to see?
I want to see a cheetah in real life, a tiger in real life and...a lion in real life.
What do you hope to learn?
I want to learn how to surf.
What are you most afraid of?
I'm afraid of no friends...and being bored.
What will you miss the most?
My house and my bedroom.
What will be the first thing you do when you get back?
Play with my friends for a week...or until I get sick of them.
What will you take with you?
Ummm...My stuffy, my tablet and…mom and dad.
How do you think this trip will change you?
Hmm...I’m going to be older and...more mature. I’ll maybe think before I do things and think about how other people in the world don’t have what I have…so…be more thankful.
Honestly, the kid is really nervous about the trip, and rightly so. Heck, I’m nervous! It’s a big undertaking and a big change.
She’s worried about missing her friends, her grandmother, her house, her toys and soccer – all the important things in her eight-year-old world. Although there are parts of the trip she’s excited for, there are also many worries.
How do we deal with our kid’s worries?
After dealing with some homesickness while in Vietnam last year, we knew this trip might be tough on her. So, we started talking about it a year ago to get her use to the idea. We constantly assure her that we're coming back and that she can keep in touch with her life at home. We talk about phone call dates with her friends and about sending messages, emails and letters. The man and I admit our own worries and together we're coming up with strategies to help us all when we’re feeling homesick.
We’re also trying to incorporate her as much as possible into the planning – fitting in activities we know she’ll enjoy, going to places she’s mentioned wanting to visit and working in time for soccer camps and hanging out with other kids. Our first stop is the UK, so we’re learning a lot about that right now and trying to build up her excitement by reading books and watching videos. We read a few stories lately about Charles Dickens and that got her pumped about going to London.
Most importantly, we’ll try to stay in most places long enough to develop a bit of a routine and find some semblance of a home away from home.
It will be a challenging year for her, and likely for all three of us. But at the end of it, I’m fairly certain it will be worth it and that we'll all grow and learn so much…and hopefully not hate each other…or get eaten by a cheetah...or a tiger...or a lion.