Thursday, July 14, 2016

The last one to leave the nest . . .

I thought I would tell you about the recent adventure of my independent, list making, little alpha mini me.  Please prepare yourself for an overload of pictures of her . . . I'm aware it is excessive.  
Why yes, she did "need" new luggage for her trip!
One of my most favorite friends moved to Florida last year and left Amanda and I brokenhearted. Of course I was happy for them, but super sad to see them go.  

Amanda has been asking to fly to see them since the day they left.  She keeps telling me that her friends have flown as unaccompanied minors so she wants to try that too.  As her mother, I was not a fan of this option.  At all.  That's my baby, you know.

So this summer, we cooked up a plan for Amanda to fly on the same flight as her daughter and her friend, who were returning home after a summer horse riding adventure!  I thought about keeping it a secret but caved . . . Amanda was beyond excited!

She's had her bags packed, her flying outfit laid out, gifts purchased for her friends and a daily countdown alert on her phone for weeks now.  And this past Monday was the day of her flight!  

I had to purchase an unaccompanied minor ticket because my friend's daughter was under 18. That's actually a good thing because then I got to walk her to the gate!  

She tells her new puppy goodbye and off we go!
How about those fancy nails?  She is so girly!
We checked in at the gate and completed some paperwork. Here she is getting ready to check her bag.
It was only 17 pounds . . . she could handle it, right?
Until they wanted to charge another $25, and I told her to find someone to help her put it in the over head.  Real life kid!  

Speaking of real life, once we had her ticket, I told her she had to lead the way to her gate.  Of course I was there to guide her, but I wanted her to use her common sense and previous flight experience and do it herself.  She's always up for that kind of challenge!

So we head through security . . . she got to keep her shoes on and we were waved through the smaller metal detector which was nice.  At this point, she is tired of me taking her picture.  She can't possibly understand how hard this was on me as her mother . . . so I just kept making her pose.  
Trains, planes and escalators . . . 
Here she is showing off her "LoJack" as I called it . . . her tracking device!  Please don't lose my baby!!!
Excuse ma'am . . . can I scan your QR code?  I should have tried that.
"Mom, are you serious?"  Yes, please pose under the Delta sign!  And for the record, I would totally recommend Delta . . . she had a fabulous experience.
Snacks in hand ready to board!!!
I took this because she was leading the way like a champ . . . she barely looked back in the crowded airport to make sure I was behind her.  I guess she knows mom will always be there, and she doesn't have to check.  Sniffle.
My fierce, independent girl!
We make it to the gate and wait for her friend to arrive!  She was so very happy to see her surrogate big sister!  Madelyn is the one that introduced her to horseback riding!  She is such a good girl . . . great student, so polite and excessively kind.  I always tell Amanda that if she wants a girl to look up to, it's Madelyn!!  
I just love that teenager so much!  Such a great girl!
And then it was time to board . . . I put a smile on my face and reminder her that she is strong and to speak up if she wasn't comfortable in any situation on the plane.  The lovely gate attendant told her the same thing, and then after several kisses and I love yous . . . off she went.  
See ya suckas . . . Amanda out!
I sat back with Madelyn and her friend to wait for them to board.  Said my goodbyes and then headed over to the window to cry.  
This was the hardest part . . . knowing she was on there, out of my care and in God's hands.
Isn't this what we want as parents?  Our kids to be adventurous and independent and confident enough in themselves to leave home and try new things.  I kept reminding myself that as I stood there and cried . . . I'm doing my job . . . literally giving her wings to fly.
She made it to Florida safe and sound with a big smile on her face happy to see some of her favorite people.  How lucky am I to have friends willing to take my kid and treat them like one of their own? I know the answer to that . . . VERY lucky.  Love you long time my friends. 

3 comments:

  1. it's so hard to let them fly from the coop! you handled it very well; i'd be a mess and would probably sneak on the plane LOL

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  2. awwww talk about sniffles! i'm basically bawling over here. you are such a good mom, teaching her to lead the way and stuff. i am sure it wasn't easy, but you are definitely making a very good adult-to-be right there ;) i did wonder how you were able to get to the gate with her, so that's pretty cool.

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  3. Oh goodness, that would be so hard to just let her go. I totally get it. Heck, I don't like flying alone, it makes me nervous. Haha. Such a big girl!!!

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