People who say that "kids these days" are lazy or rude or self-centered haven't been around too many kids lately. Or they haven't been paying attention. I've always been impressed that most of our kids' friends are energetic, polite, and considerate. Since Christopher was in elementary school I've noticed that the kids were genuinely nice to each other, concerned about each others' well-being, and happily celebrated each other's successes, a trend that followed with Chloe's age group. It must be universal: Chloe has repeatedly said that her friends in Spain are nice and sweet and thoughtful and they are going to be the hardest thing about leaving for home. And Alicia could not be a better ambassador for Spain. Have I mentioned before that she's going to be a tough exchange-student act to follow?
Tonight Alicia's second host family had a goodbye party for her and my impression about "kids these days" was confirmed again - they are nice people. She will be going home with wonderful memories of what it's like to be a stranger in a small, foreign community of mostly nice, warm, welcoming Americans, people who embraced her and made her an integral part of their families. When she goes home to Spain she can refute the perception that we're all Homer Simpson.