Dear Archie Joe,
By the time you read this you will be on the bus at the start of your trip of a lifetime. There aren’t many 12 year olds that have this fantastic opportunity to travel to America and play basketball so I just wanted to remind you to have an amazing time. I was planning to write a heart-felt letter full of messages about how proud I am of you and how loved you are but thought it might make you sad so instead I thought I would revert to form and write you some advice on how to enjoy your trip! So here we go:
- Always wear sunscreen – seriously Arch, we love your ginger hair but the sun does not love you. Cover up!
- Do something every day that scares you – OK, for you, this probably won’t be hard! But embrace the challenges, dive right in, pee into the wind! You’re unlikely to get this opportunity again so don’t regret the things you didn’t do because you were too scared.
- Be a support to others – You are in a pretty lucky position in that you have been to America before and you’ve been abroad on your own before. You’ve got this! There are bound to be other boys on the trip that are more terrified than you so put your energies into helping them.
- Be polite – I don’t think I really need to tell you this because I have never really known you to be anything other than polite. However, in your excitement you might just forget your pleases and thank yous!
- Talk to people if you’re worried – If something is bothering you talk to a friend, talk to the family you are with or talk to your teachers…don’t let anything get you down. Every problem can be fixed!
- WASH! Please remember to wash at least a couple of times while you are there! Honestly…you will smell if you don’t! You also need to remember to brush your teeth!
- Look after your money – I know the temptation will be to spend all your money on trainers on the first day but just remember it has to last! Save plenty for your Universal Studios trip – you will find a million things you want to buy. Be sensible!
- Make friends for life – You’re going to meet so many new and wonderful people out there. We are so fortunate that keeping in touch on social media is so easy these days so make some amazing friends and you’ll have some great opportunities for travel and friendships for the rest of your life.
- Keep in touch but not too much – we will love to hear from you and will always answer the phone no matter what time of day or night (although don’t expect me to be at my best at 3am!). However, don’t feel you have to call or text. If we don’t hear from you we know you must be having the best time and that is what we are hoping for more than anything.
- Be brave – You can do this. You’re stronger than you think and a lot of your fears and worries will be made worse by dwelling. When you’re feeling sad have a read of Grandma’s joke book and remember how much we all annoy you. Seriously…I’ll be back nagging you to practice your violin, clean your room and to do your homework within 24 hours of you being home so make the most of being away from me!
You are such a lucky boy Archie and I am so looking forward to hearing what an amazing time you’ve had. Don’t waste this opportunity by worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter…focus on having fun! Oh yes, and one more thing:
Play basketball like you’ve never played before, you never know who might be watching!
Love you to the moon and back