Beliebers might just be a way to describe a mass of frenzied Justin Bieber fans but in my house this morning, I witnessed a true condition known as Bieber Fever: Panicked teenage girls controlling every computer and cell phone available to purchase pre-sale concert tickets.
It started with the mandatory membership to the Justin Bieber Fan Club. Twenty-six dollars earned a three month membership, a JB cap, and the right to purchase pre-sale tickets. I was having flashbacks to the Hannah Montana fiasco that got us center stage and about 20 stories up! Nonetheless, I stood in the background, monitoring the situation and offering my credit card assistance when it was warranted.
I have been down this road before. As a parent, it has been my pleasure to help make my kids dreams a reality, within reason. What is reasonable? Good question and very debatable if you ask my husband. Camping, hiking, Warp Tours, and scouting for the best rollercoaster experience was best left to the boys in the house. Those requests usually fell on Dad, and that wasn’t such a bad thing. Or was it?
Not that I am keeping score, but I have driven a car full of nine-year-old girls dressed in princess fashion and singing Hollaback Girl at the top of their lungs to a bowling alley for a birthday party. I have coached U8 and U10 girls’ soccer teams and experienced firsthand the frustration of cartwheels, singing, and ballet moves on the field. I have been to a Hannah Montana concert, survived all the High School Musical movies complete with a house full of screaming girls (Zac Effron-need I say more?), and I have been to every midnight showing of the Twilight Saga, which was 12 hours minimum each time. Now, with JB concert tickets in hand, I will be spending a January weekend in Nashville with a group of screaming girls and I can’t wait!!
I wouldn’t trade one minute of it and I would never take it for granted. These are the days I cherish the most. So, when my son came to us with the dream of going to Japan for a year, our response was NO WAY. That was four years ago. I never thought I’d be saying this, especially after losing our eldest son so unexpectedly, but Benjamin will be departing for Japan on August 22nd for eleven months as a Foreign Exchange Student. The hardest thing to do in life isn’t holding on—it’s letting go.
There is a family in China that is doing the same, and it is my hope that we can give their daughter a fun, loving, and rewarding experience as a new member of our family. In August, just before the start of the school year, Shunshun (Linda) will move into Benjamin’s empty bedroom. What was once looking like a long, quiet winter in our home, will now be filled with new experiences for her and for us. My husband, not wanting to be outnumbered by the females, was reluctant. But when we received our first e-mail from Shunshun, our hearts were suddenly full of love for this girl. Here is what she wrote:
Dear Michael and Karen
First, thanks for your reception. When I received the message, it was one of the happiest moments throughout my life that suddenly light my heart. I am so amazing to realize that I will enjoy a wonderful year with you, my dear mum and dad.
Actually, I am the only children in my family. As a result, I am really looking forward to having a brother or sister. So, I get you, Benjamin and Savannah. I am sure we will have a good time.
My parents and I appreciate you again.
May 17, 2012
P.S. Can you send me your family photo?
And here is the photo she sent.
It should be an interesting year and I hope to share every funny, heartwarming story with you. Who knows, maybe there’s a Shunshun in my writing future. Life is an adventure, as my dear friend Nancy says, so I say– go out and live it!