When I was in France for three months, more than 25 years ago, I probably talked to my parents three times by phone. We sent regular letters, but my folks had no idea what my daily life was like.
Grace's trip to France has been very different. We text, we email, we Skype. I know her schedule, which is why, on days like today, I'm anxiously hovering around my computer waiting to hear from her.
She went to Rome last Tuesday by night train -- alone, which I think is very brave. She met a friend there and she was supposed to take the night train back to Paris on Saturday. But an Italian train strike caused her to spend an extra night in Rome. She had her ticket for Sunday evening and she should be back in Paris now, which is nearly noon Monday Paris time.
I turn on my computer and check Skype. She isn't online and hasn't left me a message. I look at my email. Nothing from Grace.
Next I look at Facebook to see if there are any updates. No.
Now I'm working myself up.
The last I heard from her was Sunday morning as she sat in a restaurant/bar with WiFi, alone, in Rome. She had dropped her phone into the Mediterranean Sea, so it wasn't working. She planned to venture out to find some tshirts as souvenirs for the boys. She had the rest of the day before she caught her train.
We went to my brother's house near Dayton yesterday and we tried to connect with Grace by Skype there. No luck.
Did she get on the train?
Did the train make it to Paris?
I'm trying to think of other cyber clues I could look for to discover Grace's whereabouts.
I sign onto our bank account and now I can relax a bit.
I see that extra money has been added to her account. She must have stopped at the train station and returned the extra ticket she had to buy because of the train strike.
Now, I can feel more comfortable that Grace has made it back to Paris. I can go on with the other things I need to do, like making lunches for the boys.
I'm not sure which is preferable while having a teenager abroad -- being able to stay in touch and worrying about the little things, or being totally oblivious to the details of her life so assuming the best.
Sometimes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing -- especially for a worrying mother.
Update: Grace contacted me by Skype and she is back in Paris. None the worse for wear, except for falling out of the top bunk on the night train. Don't they have rails?
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