This morning was a first for me--The First Time I Sent My Child On An Airplane Alone.
Mind you, this child is nearly 15 and closing in on 6 feet tall. But still . . .
By the way, the "nearly" 15 part is important. Under the age of 15, Delta requires you to pay a 100 dollar fee for them to chaperone the child to and from the airplanes on both ends of the flight. When we reached the check-in desk this morning, the man asked my son, "How old are you?"
"Are you sure you're not fifteen?" the man asked. "No one else is going to ask and you look pretty capable of handling a non-stop flight by yourself. So how old are you?"
"Fifteen," my son said.
He was quite pleased with this turn of events, having no desire for a chaperone. And it's not like he hasn't flown plenty, including through several African airports. But he's never been on his own.
He wisely held his tongue while I showed him how to read everything on his boarding pass, told him how to find the gate once he was through security, pointed out all the things he needed to remove from his person or his carry-on bag so he could get through security, told him to ask an airline employee anything at any time, and generally acted like a nervous mother. My children aren't used to that--they're used to the mom who says, "Okay, whatever, have fun!"
He took it well, though. I asked him if he was all right. He assured me he was. I, on the other hand, felt like I was sending him to kindergarten all over again. What if he couldn't find the gate? What if he didn't make the plane? What if someone was mean to him?
I'm glad to report that all is well, he is safely in Boston in the hands of his father tonight.
Fortunately, they're flying home together on Tuesday so I don't have to go through this again.