Hi Honey!

Hope youíre good and having the time of your life in Ireland! And remembering to eat. And to sleep. And to hydrate. And remembering to wear your cross-body bag like I told you to whenever you go anywhere. And never going anyplace outside your dorm without at least one other person. And missing me, at least once in awhile.

Dad and I wish we could talk to you more often so we could hear more about what youíve been up to, but we know how much youíve got going on, between classes and your internship. Busy, busy! Thank God for social media so we can get glimpses of all the exciting stuff youíve been doing. So jealous!

Actually, between creeping on your Instagram feed and looking over your sisterís shoulder at your Snapchat story on her phone, we know youíre doing pretty great. Like, amazingly great. Like, wow-I-wish-I-was-you-globetrotting-all-over-Europe great. And that makes us so happy. Although, Iím sure you miss us more than youíre letting on. Probably beyond words. And youíre counting the seconds until we get there in November, right? Youíre such a good kid.

Honestly, though, we love seeing all the photos of you traveling all over Ireland and Paris, and of all the spectacular-looking sights youíre seeing, and all the new people youíre meeting. And itís great that our bank account is linked to your credit card so we can see all the fun charges youíre racking up. Because all we want is for your time abroad to be epic and unforgettable.

Funny, though, whenever we talk or text, weíre both so excited to hear about everything youíre doing that weíve barely filled you in on how everythingís going here at home. Cause when I stopped to think about it yesterday, I realized that youíre probably curious about how weíre doing here without you. So thatís why Iím writing you, to let you know how weíve been doing since youíve been away.

Well, first off, I havenít slept in three weeks. You know, since the night you left. I mean, with the five-hour time difference between Boston and Dublin, itís thrown my body clock completely out of whack. Not to mention, I catch myself wondering what youíre doing and who youíre with about every 14 seconds. So thatís a sleep killer right there. Guess Iíve just conditioned myself to always be available in case you might call. Or text. Or accidentally pocket dial me while youíre in your Irish Lit class. But thatís ok, itís only for three-and-a-half months. I can deal. The most important thing is that youíre having fun.

Also, Iíve spent a good chunk of time avoiding thinking about any of Liam Neesonís ďTakenĒ movies. Amazing how often the trailers come on while weíre watching cable. But they put too many crazy ideas in my head about you getting abducted at some pub, so Iíve been working really hard at avoiding them on the On Demand guide. Time-consuming stuff and it takes a lot out of me emotionally, but thatís why I meditate, so Iím good.

And Dad and I have become slightly compulsive about checking our CNN International News Feed to make sure we know everything thatís happening in Europe in real time. That actually accounts for a decent chunk of our day, too.

See, you have to remember, as youíve done your growing-up thing, our anxiety level as parents has grown, too. Like when you went off to kindergarten, we started carrying around a bucket of new things to worry about, like learning your ABCs, and making friends, and not peeing your pants. Then you went off to high school and our bucket got heavier, you know, with fears of sex and drugs and peer-pressure-type stuff. And then, boom, youíre in college! Thatís when all the everyday stuff we worry about started sloshing over the rim and spilling onto the floor because you werenít under our roof anymore. But thereís been nothing quite like that feeling we both felt watching you clear through security at the International Terminal, passport in your teeth, as you left for the semester in Europe. That was a whole new level of emotion. And for that, we needed a whole new bucket.

But youíre 20 and everything youíre seeing and doing is so damn exciting that you donít think about your time abroad the way we do. And you wouldnít, because youíre not a parent. But to us, knowing youíre in a different country, in a totally different time zone, with a whole continent of people we donít know, is a lot for us to process. Like, a real lot.

I mean, itís rough enough on parents to let our kids go when you guys go off to college; but itís especially tough when we ship you off to foreign countries that are super-far away. (Special emphasis on the super-far part.) Thatís because weíre not on the same soil anymore. And even though, in our case, getting to Ireland takes the same amount of time on a plane as getting to the West Coast, we still have the illusion of you being so much farther away because itís across the Atlantic. Just the word ďintercontinentalĒ plays mind games in my head. But we spend a lot of time now chanting and doing yoga to help us stay calm and relaxed while youíre away, so itís all good.

Weíre doing our best to focus on how unique and life-changing this opportunity is for you and how capable and self-confident youíve become since youíve been away. I mean, navigating a brand new city and branching out and meeting so many new people and fending and cooking for yourself! Those pictures of the dinners youíve been making look amazing! So funny that when youíre here at home you never let on how capable you are in the kitchen.

Well, I guess that pretty much catches you up from our end. Miss you so much! See you in a few weeks, pumpkin! I love you!

Love,
Mom xo

P.S. Itís gonna be a huge load off knowing youíll be cooking dinners from now on once you get home!
ó Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston. Read and discuss all her columns at lisasugarman.com. Or, find them on LittleThings.com, Hot Moms Club, BeingAMom.life, GrownandFlown.com, Mamalode, More Content Now, and Care.com. She is also the author of ďLIFE: It Is What It IsĒ and ďUntying Parent Anxiety: 18 Myths That Have You in Knots--And How to Get FreeĒ available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.