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Thread: A New Chapter.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan

    A New Chapter.....

    Tomorrow, March 25th, we take our eldest daughter Erika to the airport in Narita to send her to Canada. Erika decided that she wanted to do her high school years in Canada, she would like to become truly bilingual and to learn more about Canadian culture (yes there is Canadian culture ) and to know her family in Canada better too.

    Erika will be traveling alone for the first time, usually when she goes to Canada to visit, she is with her sister, or us, but now, at almost 16, I think she is ready and will do just fine.

    This is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, for us who are staying in Tokyo, the house will be a bit quieter with one less daughter/sister around, and for Erika going to Canada, this is the point where she leaves home. Who knows what the future holds, and at some point, Erika may very well live under our roof again, but she will not be a child anymore, and will have become an adult. I would imagine that most of us left home a little older than 15, and in a way, Erika is not really leaving home, as she will be living with grampa and grama in Canada, but she is leaving our home.

    I have to admit, I've not got my head around this yet, and while I'm very happy for Erika, I'm also a bit sad, for myself, as I'll not be there to watch this wonderful girl blossom into a wonderful young woman. We will be watching from afar, which is not something we are used to. Thank goodness for the internet and for Skype!!

    I know that tomorrow at the airport, I'm going to have to bring at least two hankies, as one will not be enough, I'm her dad, so I'm allowed to worry, and I tell you, I've really gone all out in planning for every contingency I can think of, with back up plans two and three deep

    I imagine that she will not need them, but it will make me feel better at the very least. I know that when she leaves tomorrow at 7PM our time, I'll not get any sleep until she touches down in Vancouver and clears customs and immigration, collects her luggage and checks in for her domestic flight to Kelowna, at that point she is supposed to fire up her Macbook and Skype us at home in Tokyo, that will be around 4:30 AM here I'll be up all night, I just know it.

    Thanks for letting me share this here.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Wow! That will be a hard change for both of you, but wow what a great experience.

    I'm sure you'll all be using Skype quite often. A suggestion we heard a while back for family that was abroad was bringing the computer to the table and eating together over Skype video.

    Hope her travels go smooth and tell her good luck for us!

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Outside the beltway
    Stuart, I feel your pain buddy. It was just about 4 years ago we set our youngest off to a School 2.5 hr's down the road , though not quit as far but away from home.
    Most likely you will find ways to make an extra trips to Canada.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Stu, this is sort of a bitter sweet moment. But i believe the best thing we can do for our kids is assist them to be independent. Sooner they learn the sooner they cope with the rest of life.

    We all seem to forget that in times long ago at this age many were already either working or in the army fighting a war somewhere.

    The real great thing is the support she has from both sides of the world. She will be just fine with Grandparents to fuss over her.

    Let us know when she gets there safe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Hey Stu,

    Isn't it so very weird, yet human, to be sad and glad all at the same time. Best wishes to Erika, and of course to the Tokyo Abletts as well!

    So how old is Daughter #2? It is only a 2yr difference between them, right?

    Seems like only last year you were putting up that wall to divide up their bedroom into two... Maybe you should just take that down now. Something to keep you busy.
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Thanks guys!

    Darren, the eating together thing is a good idea, I'll have to see how that works time wise, I might be eating dinner while she is eating breakfast, but a cool idea just the same!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Wow Stu, I can only imagine how you feel. I was a basket case seeing my 5 daughters off to college and summer camp. I didn't sleep a night for 2 years after seeing my son head off to war. I not sure if I could handle seeing them off in your situation. I'm sure that this is a great opportunity for her but the pain must be unbearable. The upside is that you seem to have a loving and caring family and she will be happy and will benefit from a great education.
    I wish her and you all the best.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  8. #8

    It's tough letting them leave but the experience she gains will exceed the inconvenience you will experience.

    Once she gets to Canada, she will be under the wings of the same family that raised you. How could she do better Dad?

    My oldest just turned 45. I remember pushing him out. He was living at home and going to college. He brought home his 1st semester grades. 1 D, 1 C and 3 F's. I wasn't about to waste any more of my money on his college expenses. I gave him six weeks to find a full time job or enlist in the military. I was installing a CT scanner in Missoula, Montana at the time. The next Friday I called home. The wife asked if I was coming home that weekend. I indicated I was planning on staying and finishing the installation. She told me if I wanted to see him before he left for bootcamp, I should come home. A couple of years later he was involved in a little skirmish named "Desert Storm". Talk about a parental guilt trip and worry!

    Hang tough Dad. It'll be rough but you will survive...and so will your daughter.'s okay to use those hankies! I needed one when I left my new 3 week old twin granddaughters in Houston Monday to fly back to Idaho.

    Hang tough Dad!
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 03-24-2010 at 05:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Stu, face it....she's all grown up! I think the toughest thing would to not be able to brow beat the boyfriends. Hopefully her uncles can fill in for that role! But just think how she will grow with the new experiences and new friends!!! Jim
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    At least she is going to Kelowna. Such a nice size city and beautiful one with much to do (especially if you like to golf). Still this has to be difficult thing for you and your wife.

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