I am picking my son up at JFK this afternoon. He has been at Tennis Europe for the last four weeks, playing tournament tennis and exploring Euope. This was his first trip overseas. I am so excited to see him, but sad that this amazing experience for him is coming to an end.
They began in Barcelona, then went to the South of France, then Amsterdam, and ended up in Paris. My son, who turned fifteen at the end of May, was the youngest in his group of fifteen children, but that didn’t stop him from having fun. He had the time of his life. I am so happy that I sent him, and I think this is an experience that he will remember for a lifetime.
Some of the highlights for him were:
The yachts in Monte Carlo,
The topless beaches in Spain (“and I don’t mean just the guys, Mom”),
The redlight district in Amsterdam (“women with pretty good bodies, guys, and at least one guy dressed as a woman, Mom”),
The inundating smell of weed everywhere they went in Amsterdam (“as many people are smoking joints as cigarettes, Mom” and apparently a lot of people smoke cigarettes there),
The tennis matches against players from countries all over Europe,
A visit to the Anne Frank museum, which will probably haunt him forever,
A glimpse of the Mona Lisa (“there were crowds of Asians in front, Mom”). I had the same experience when I went to see her at his age, though I don’t think the throngs of people that day were Asian,
A visit to the Van Gogh museum, where my son brilliantly took note of Van Gogh’s intricate painting style.
Tennis Europe has a very strict No Drinking/No Drugging policy. You drink or drug you go home. Well, apparently ten of the fifteen decided to test the boundaries of this policy a few nights ago and were all caught with alcohol. None of them were sent home (too close to departure date they explained, but truly, I wonder how they could send ten children home and leave a team of five to travel on their own). They did have to run around a park (all fifteen of them) at the crack of dawn the next day and then do countless sit-ups and push-ups.
“Why did you have to do that if you weren’t drinking?” I asked my son.
“We’re a team Mom,” my son explained patiently. “Teams do everything together.” Not drinking apparently. I am happy to report that my son was one of the five who was not present at the drinking party.
I am heading to JFK in a few hours. I am so excited to see him! We are taking him out for a huge Italian dinner in Queens. I’ll bet he hasn’t had Italian food in a month. I am going to hug him for as long as he will let me.