Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blake's Serbian Summer Adventure Begins

Blake shows off his passport.

So it was only two short years ago that I was so worried about Blake heading 90 minutes north to Flagstaff for his first overnight camp. Remember? Would he be homesick? Is he responsible enough? Will there be enough supervision? These questions gnawed at me for weeks, but, of course, we all survived it, he got to play soccer day and night, and he had a great time.

Fast forward to today and the now-13-year-old has his heels firmly planted in ... SERBIA! Yes, Serbia. Europe. Overseas. In a time zone 9 hours ahead of Phoenix. It all came about at speeds that surpass the normal thinking/worrying/researching analysis of a mom, like me. Which, as I see now, worked out in Blake's favor. Just about six weeks ago, one of the coaches in Blake's soccer club -- a native Serb who played pro soccer there -- announced this "great opportunity" for Blake and his teammates to travel to his homeland, train and play in a couple tournaments.

And before I knew it, checks were flying, international web sites were being surfed, more soccer shorts were being purchased, suitcases were being packed and an expedited passport for a 13-year-old was being issued. All in record time.

And on Thursday, Blake (who has taken to calling himself "soccer beast"), two teammates and one of the teammate's father headed out, spending nearly 24 hours on flights and layovers to Chicago, London and then Serbia.

So far things are good. Brett and I anxiously tracked his flights online and I talked to him once, right after getting settled in after flying. He was tired but excited. He took a camera and we asked/ordered him to keep a journal, so I'm hoping he comes back with something that gives us a good representation of his experience.

Stay tuned ...

Allie and Zach saying their good0byes.

"Don't go, Blake."

No comments: