I'm not sure why, but we said "yes" to hosting a Japanese exchange student for 10 days. It turned out to be an incredible blessing for our family to get to know Kento! He spent every morning in ESL classes with 26 other Japanese students. Afternoons were filled with various activities in and around Phoenix. They had a tour of the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum), a very wet & wild time at Sunsplash, a fabulous, pizza-filled evening at Organ Stop Pizza, an overnight trip to the Grand Canyon, and tours of 2 local universities.
We took Kento rock-climbing at AZ On The Rocks, took him swimming, fed him til he couldn't eat another grain of rice, and generally incorporated him into all our family craziness. I found myself putting 23 years of practice being a mom into good use. Only this time around, all cylinders were firing and I was on-time or even early for drop-off and pick-up, I kept an updated schedule on the white board on the refrigerator, I cooked breakfast AND dinner daily, and most importantly, I enjoyed the experience immensely. When we dropped Kento off at 4:30am today for his departure back to Japan, I was overwhelmed with an intense desire to: a) visit Japan; b) adopt a 15 yr old; c) travel back in time and re-parent my kids with confidence and 23 yrs experience; d) go back to bed and rest my 45 yr old brain and body til a proper hour like 9am. Guess which one I immediately did?!?!?