Friday, July 8, 2011


So last night Markus dragged home his friend Gage from the train station, tired and sweating profusely from the long journey he stumbled into the courtyard still pumped on adrenaline. His first comment was “Dudes this is so awesome!!!” Spoken like a true teenager. Even looking like something the cat would drag home, we welcomed him and gave him a hug.

We ate a spaghetti dinner and went out for a long walk along the harbor. We all managed to stay up to close to midnight, thinking this would make us sleep longer, but the reality was my eyes were wide-awake at five in the morning. I really hate the first few nights of jetlag.

The boys slept in late but the rest of us had an appointment down in Solbaken, a small private school used by the church during the summer located about an hour and a half south of Stockholm. There our son, Victor was finishing up his conformation for the Lutheran church. We are generally not very religious, especially me. My response to going to a church service is to turn my head around 360 degrees, something like Linda Blair did in the Exorcist movie. But like I said before most Swedes will go to church without fail two times a year; once on Christmas Eve and then again on Easter. There was another part about their culture I never got into and that was the notion of conformation. All kids upon reaching sixteen years of age are more or less expected to do the program or face the wrath of their parents.

As my wife put’s it, it’s not about teaching them the ways of the church; but more or less an introduction into adulthood, a so-called “right of passage” So today we drove down to the remote school by a lake to meet Victor, who we have not seen in three weeks. We were all glad to see him and sure enough he had a lot to share about his “right of passage” internment. I think for him it was a moving experience, which I am happy for!

Richard Boyer

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