Anything I remember has to do with consumption of alcohol, and I’m not sure that’s the best thing to write about. I’ve been in recovery for over twenty-three years. Let’s not go there.
OK, non-drunk crazy stuff. Hmmm. This was not crazy, but I wonder if I would let my kid do it. The fall after I graduate from high school, I took off for Berlin and didn’t know when — or if — I’d come back.
I’d spent the summer after my junior year as an AFS (American Field Service) exchange student living with a German family, and I returned to Connecticut a changed person. I wanted to go back to Germany, so I could really learn the language. Since I graduated early from high school, I spent that spring semester of my senior year working as a waitress to save money. I also researched programs that would allow me to live in Germany, and I found a place in West Berlin — a home for physically handicapped children. (I’m still blown away that I did all this research and communication via phone and letters — this was the early 70s!) This home, Fürst Donnersmarck-Haus, gave me room and board and a small monthly allowance in exchange for my working with the kids in the home. At age 18, I packed up, took off for a foreign city, and didn’t know when or if I’d return. My parents must have been worried, but they still supported me. I don’t know if I’d be able to do the same with my son.