Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flying Solo

For Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nearly 18 years ago my husband and I took a flight to Denver, Colorado to attend my best friend’s wedding. As her matron of honor I was hustled here and there--to the salon, to the rehearsal dinner. My husband took this time and toured the city. I did not see much of it myself, but I did have a nice time with my friend and her family on her very special day.

I remember arriving back at the airport where my parents greeted both my husband and I with my two year old daughter in their arms. I had only been gone a few days but we had been across the country from her and it had actually been the very first time either my husband or I had left her. Our reunion was sweet. Little did I realize then, that in her next 16 years, I would not stray from her side again for more than a night or two, and never more than a couple of hours’ distance by car.

She, however, would come to leave us. At the age of 18, Sydney wanted to travel to California. I did NOT like the idea at all. However, I realized she was indeed 18 and I knew I had to let her go. After making sure that she would be met at the airport by her friend who would then not leave her side until she was safely back on the plane to return home, I gave my okay to the trip. Did you know however that you can track an airplane’s flight, minute by minute, online?! She, of course, had a grand time. It was her first independent adventure and I understood her excitement and could not help but smile.

Today, for the very first time in 18 years, I took another flight. Asked to attend a curriculum workshop in Houston, Texas, I made my own independent flight across the country. Luckily I had two work colleagues to help me find my way through airports as much has changed in 18 years in terms of security and computerized check-ins. I am in Houston for several days. My husband did not accompany me and with Sydney on her fall break from college, I again left her home, along with her two younger siblings. It felt very strange.

However, as I made those flights and checked into my hotel room with that big king sized bed that would be all mine for four nights, I was smiling. I am on my own independent adventure. I may be apart from my loved ones and anxious to return to them, but I have always enjoyed my own company. It has been rather nice to practice flying solo once again.

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