Every parent tries to do their best when raising their children, from the very first night they are brought home from the hospital right through all those school years and into young adulthood. Depositing them in a strange country, over sixteen thousand kilometres away (or just over ten thousand miles) may seem akin to throwing a baby into a pool to see if they can swim, but it seems that when I left my child in New York city it wasn’t the worst thing I could have done as a parent; she survived the ordeal and has now safely returned home.
Before I left my child in New York city though, I stayed with her for a week to help her settle in (i.e. cleaned her dorm room and purchased everything she would need for her stay) and I got to see a little of New York before leaving her all alone in the Big Apple.
During her stay in Brooklyn Heights she did discover some flaws in her skill set that could be improved upon before she heads out into the world again. For example, she found was wasn’t overly enthusiastic about using a laundromat (coin laundry), nor was she confident in asking for directions, and she definitely wasn’t keen on cooking in a communal college kitchen.
Important as they may be, these skills can be practised at home – she was in New York and set about making the most of her time there. When she wasn’t attending classes at the Stella Adler summer conservatory course she went to as many Broadway productions as time and money would allow, and she squeezed in extra stage door photos with a who’s who of American talent.
One Broadway star, Cheyenne Jackson, took pity upon my poor child, (all alone in New York city) as he clearly did not want to let their meeting pass into the history books unrecorded, so he took selfies of the two of them and threw in a special kiss.
When not kissing Broadway stars she still found time to dine out at local establishments and go to class, which was the purpose of this stay in New York.
Then it came home for this little chicken to fly home so she boarded a plane at JFK and 24 or so hours later, after flying thousands of kilometres, she arrived home with very tired wings.
She had survived by herself in the Big Apple. She had worked as a student, grown as a person and lived the dream of every budding actor and actress in the modern western world, if only for a few months. She had been immersed in ‘musical-theatre nerd’ heaven.
She returned a little bit the same and a little bit not, but it was all worth it. So if you should ever require any parenting advice regarding your teenager, don’t forget to ask me about the time…