Mr. NP and I have just returned from visiting CJ in Italy, where he is spending a semester studying Advanced Florentine Nightlife and Introduction to EasyJet Booking. We shared memorable meals, scenic day trips and extraordinary sunsets with our suddenly-sophisticated son and his friends. Then we had to return to the grind, leaving CJ to fend for himself. Without us there, he will be forced to make complicated decisions on his own, like identifying which of the three shops on his corner has the best homemade ravioli and which train offers the most direct route to Cinque Terre.
Upon our return, we discovered that although we had missed 12th Grade Orientation, GC was well adjusted to the demands of his senior year. He had filled out "the gold form," a list for his school of the colleges where he intends to apply. He sought advice from his dean about one of his essays, and says it will take "fiteen minutes" to address her comments. He attended two local info sessions, one at his school, and one at a hotel.
He also briefly considered changing his intended major from International Altruisim to Entrepreneurism because the economy crashed again while we were gone and he thought he might need to make a lot of money before saving the world.
Bottom line/Message to Neurotic Parents: Get yourself to a trattoria in Panzano. Order a bottle of Chianti Classico and the duck ragu with parppadelle. Turn off your Blackberry. And let your high school senior fend for himself.