Maybe a year and a half ago my daughter came to the dinner table one night and asked, “How much does it cost to send candy to the Netherlands?”
“What? Why do you ask?” we responded.
“I want to send some candy to the Netherlands,” she replied nonchalantly.
“To my friend. She is sending me some candy from the Netherlands and I’m sending her candy from America.”
Whoa. Wait. What?
“Did you give someone from the internet our address?”
That’s how it all began. My daughter had, in fact, given someone she met on the internet — through Instagram to be more specific — our address. It was the textbook case of what not to do. We lectured her and drilled her about who this person was, explained about predators and, quiet honestly, worried for a few weeks about leaving her home alone for fear someone creepy had our address.
But turns out she had made a friend on Instagram. They connected over a shared love for Lord of the Rings. Then they began talking on Snapchat and Facetime, becoming good friends. The candy exchange happened and then we got another question.
“Can my friend from the Netherlands’ parents email you? She wants to come to America for a visit?”
After to getting to know our friend Jorijn and her family via Skype, email and Facebook, we arranged for a visit this summer. We all learned a little more about our world and each other (the global each other) and grew from her visit.
Before she left, I talked to Jorijn and my daughter about her visit, their friendship and their perspective on things as teens in 2017. Listen to our conversation below.