I'm a 50 something daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and friend. I have a husband and a son with my parents living in my basement. Keeping it together through menopause, the teenage years and the golden years. I hope you visit often.
This past summer we took a Caribbean cruise. It was very nice. We were on the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas. That ship was huge! We were very impressed by the size of everything on the ship. We were on the 8th deck and there still was a lot of ship above us. Besides having a baby pool, splash pool, adult pool, regular pool and several jacuzzis, there was putt putt, rock climbing, wave riding and ice skating. Add in the theater where they played movies and broadway type shows, night clubs, teen clubs, and the casino, there was something going on the entire time we were on board. When we went to Alaska, we did a bunch of family things. Played games, watched movies or just watched the scenery as it glided by. There were mostly "mature" people on the Alaskan cruise. This time was very different. There was a teen club that actually had teens in it. There were kids everywhere. All ages, sizes, countries were represented. In the afternoon, there would be a parade of little ones through the shopping area. They would be dressed in that days arts and craft. It was always amusing to see them strut through smiling and waving at everyone. The group that seemed to vanish was the 12-14 group. We left on Sunday, by Monday afternoon we had been ditched. That's right. Jake would get up and walk with us to breakfast at 9:30 or 10:00. One of his new friends would materialize out of nowhere and mention that a group of them would be at that table over there. As Jake melted into the crowd, we would yell out a time and place to check in. By Tuesday I was hearing names like, Jordan, Justin, Cameron, Matt, Jasmine...countries like Norway, Germany, and Canada. Once is awhile there would be a glimpse of a teenager. Wed. we set some rules. Jake must eat one meal a day with us, dinner. Attending the after dinner show was optional, but we would like his company. That night after dinner, Jake said he would meet us at the theater entrance. He showed up on time, with four of his buddies in tow. That was when we realized that Jordan was female and from Orange County. Technically he did attend the show with us. He just didn't sit anywhere near us. Usually on the other side of the theater! There were activities planned for the teenagers from 10:00am-1:00am. This was time to let him have some space. What could happen? There is always the he could fall overboard thought, but we were confident that Jake would not put himself in any danger and as far as we know, he didn't. Jake had a taste of "freedom" during that cruise. He met all kinds of kids and he is still in touch with a few of them. The Freedom of the Seas gave Jake a taste of independence. It gave Lee and I a look of what's to come. Being ditched. If you have to be ditched by your kid, it's nice that he did it on a cruise ship that had all kinds of fun things to do, for everyone!! Take Care!