Ah teenagers…they are so independent but…on occasion they still need their parents.
Our 18 year old daughter thinks she is ready for the world. As a college junior she is moving to the university next month fearless and without worries. But for mom the worries continue.
But we must let go. And so our young adult made arrangements to visit friends in PA. I stayed out of it except to give advice when asked. You know, like, “Remember just because it’s cheap to fly the red-eye doesn’t mean it your friends will want to pick you up at 6am.” So plans were made and all I did was ask what day she was leaving so that I’d be free to take her to the airport. The friends were emailed the schedule and all was set. Or so we thought.
Yesterday we were talking about the upcoming trip. Rebecca was leaving Tuesday and would be talking to the friends with flight information, etc. some time on Monday. With a little prodding she pulled out her suitcase and began thinking about what to pack. After all, Monday was empty except for packing and picking up any last minute items. When I headed for bed we talked about getting her boarding pass. The closer to the airlines 24 hour window that you order the pass the better chance at a good seat on the plane (you know how it goes). Since she had an early flight I offered to go online when I got up, then she could sleep in a few minutes.
Bob and I got up our usual early hour and talked about who would take her to the airport and assorted reminders to each other before the appointed 6:45 time to sign onto the website. We’ve flown often enough that it was pretty routine until the website flashed in red letters “Unable to confirm this flight.” Hmmm, so I looked a little further. Wait a second, the website information said that her flight was this morning! Yikes! How could that be? I jumped up and ran upstairs informing Bob that something was dreadfully wrong. What to do? What to do?
Of course, the first thing to do is to wake sleeping beauty and start firing questions at her. (What a terrible way to wake up.) Yep, the airlines was right, the confirmation paper said the flight was the 19th, not the 20th. Two months ago, when making reservations she must have written down the wrong date. Okay, take a breath and lets call the airlines to see if there is any way to salvage this trip. After being on hold for what seemed an eternity the agent finally answered. Yes, the flight was for today and yes, it had already left, and yes, she could fly out tomorrow but it would cost an additional $250 for the ticket. But then she asked if my daughter was over the age of 22. Why she asked, I don’t know (maybe this is the new Obama age of adulthood). But in any case, she then told me that there was a policy if a customer was at the terminal within two hours of the scheduled departure time they would get her on a standby flight that day and with no additional charge. “Could we make it there?” she asked.
“Could we?!” Ka-ching! Dollar signs were flying past my head as I ran upstairs. We raced around like crazy people getting dressed and tossing clothes into her suitcase. “If the friends can’t pick you up today or if you don’t get in until midnight you’re just going to have to spend the night in the airport.” Bob and I both were shouting out questions to her, “Did you pack this? Did you remember that? Do you have your money, your purse, your backpack?” And we flew out of the house.
We arrived at the terminal at 8:15 and I told my stressed daughter to hurry in and look for the shortest line while I parked the car. A half hour in line would spell trouble. Well, you know that old adage, “The Lord watches over children and fools.” I’m guessing we fit in both categories this morning. As Matthew and I walked in to the terminal Rebecca was calling us. She was booked on an 8:45 flight and with a detour to Buffalo would arrive in Baltimore just a couple hours late.
Sure enough she just sent me a text that she had arrived safely and and the friends were right there to pick her up. “No worries, Mom,” she wrote, “and thanks for getting me out of bed this morning.”