to Jabez and beyond

Our daughter is in Jabez this weekend.  Jabez, Kentucky, that is.  Apparently Jabez is the first stop on her trip abroad.

Allie plans to be a foreign exchange student next school year.  We have completed and turned in her application.  She has ranked the countries she’d like to live in 1-10.  Plus, she’s noted the ones she’s not willing to visit at this point in her young life.

While at the Jabez retreat she’ll meet other outbound students like her.  And she’ll meet a few students who have been placed here in the US.  She  began the weekend with her father dropping her at a local McDonald’s, where she hopped aboard the carpool and headed off to points south.

Am I the only one that finds it ironic the road to foreign study begins with a McDonald’s and a town in Kentucky most people have never heard of?

I suppose it sort of fits our daughter though.  She’s a girl only raised in the South who doesn’t care for Lilly Pulitzer but would be proud to win a Pulitzer prize.  And she’s not into boots, which most young ladies in these parts currently are.  Unless they’re the combat variety.  She’s threatened to throw paint on Uggs in the school hallway.

A quick look at our girl’s Twitter account reveals she would like to dress like Sandy from Grease [once she begun wearing leather] and has a crush on not The Hunger Games’ Gale, nor on Peeta, but Finnick.  I suppose a man who can swim is always a good thing to have around, right?

Europe mapA year from now, Allie could be living temporarily in Italy or the Czech Republic or France.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Unless you guessed Brazil, which she has said she is not open to.  It’s hard to imagine her so far away.  It actually makes dropping her at a McDonald’s off an interstate exit to ride away with strangers seem quite reasonable.

Being a parent is not easy.  Especially once your children reach the semi independent stage.  Which ours have.  While they don’t need dinner cooked or as many rides home, they do need money.  And lots of it.  But we knew from the beginning it would come to this.  So it’s no surprise.  Yet just because something is not a surprise, just because it’s expected, it doesn’t make it easy.

We’re going to miss her.  A lot.  This weekend while she’s in Jabez.  And this time next year, when she’s across an ocean.

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