It is hard to believe, but yesterday Rob got on a plane and flew off to Japan for six weeks. He – of course – is ecstatic.  I, on the other hand, am scared to death.

While I am SO grateful that he has progressed to the point that we could even consider something like this trip, I am dreadfully afraid that it will be too much stress for him.  But he worked hard and saved the money to go,  and he was insistent that he can do it. He needs to test his own powers and find his own limits. It was the dream of a lifetime to go – how could we say no? And his kendo sensei told us that Japan is probably the safest country in the world for a young man to wander in on his own.

The first month he will not be wandering. He is in a small Japanese language program – he will be there with 12 other American students, living with Japanese host families and studying the language and the culture, with field trips and other planned activities.

The last two weeks of his trip, he will be staying with a friend of his sensei, and they will go and hike Mt. Fuji among other things. But he will be taking train trips to other parts of Japan, including attending an anime conference in Tokyo.

I asked him to send us regular updates either via email or phone. But he seemed disinclined to do that. I think in his mind, this 6 weeks is about putting his life here behind him and starting to invent a new person.  So all I can do is pray for his safety and his choices, and that he will discover new strengths and competencies in himself, and come home a more confident, mature adult.