My husband took my 12 year-old daughter to the airport this past Monday evening.
To fly to the States.
On her own.
An approximately 11 hour flight.
Which she’s done for the past 5 years.
Because, we decided, when she was 8, she could make this trip on her own.
We felt she was mature enough to handle it.
But more importantly, we felt safe knowing that the mandatory airport escort (costing about $100.) would not only make her trip easier, but guarantee that she would land in the hands of my awaiting parents.
Personally, for the past 5 years, I’ve felt at ease with this situation.
Until my husband returned from the airport telling me that this time there would be no escort.
No escort? I thought to myself.
My long pause and quizzical stare caused him to elucidate.
Apparently, after the age of 12, the escort is no longer mandatory.
And my husband felt our daughter didn’t need it anymore.
Because she’s already grownup.
So, he chose to send her solo.
And, as a mother, you can probably imagine what went through my head when I heard this decision.
Who’s going to help her with her luggage?
What about all the forms she needs to fill out?
What if she can’t find my parents?
I didn’t even send her with a single cent in her bag!!!
She has no cell phone!!
I don’t want her talking to strangers!
She’s only 12!!!!
She’s my baby!!!
But, I stopped.
I didn’t allow myself to stay stuck on this.
And instead, took a breath and chose to change perspectives.
What’s done is done, I thought to myself.
She’s already on the plane.
I can’t do much about this at that point anyway.
Neither did my husband.
So, when I received the email from my parents that she arrived and was in their arms, you can imagine how relieved I felt.
Which made me consider.
Whether my husband made the right decision in the first place.
Apparently my daughter thinks so.