Mar 31, 2014 0 Share

Flying High


Dulles International Airport at night.
Thinkstock

This winter has been particularly rotten. Cameron's school has somewhere in the region of 11 snow days to make up. (At some point, you just stop counting.) With snow still falling in the DC area into late March, the best decision I've made of late was to book a long weekend in Puerto Rico. Cameron's not a fan of the beach, so this trip was planned to coincide with his weekend visit with his father. 

For me, travel and stress are synonymous. I develop acute packing anxiety 24 hours before departure. I run around in circles trying to remember everything, leaving notes for pet sitters, getting medical documentation for my daughter, not to mention the suitcase contents. No matter how much time I give myself, I inevitably end up running late, and have a knot in my stomach until I'm safely on the plane. I used to get this way even when Cameron was traveling without me, but I have mostly overcome stressing about his travel. (Except when I'm the one stuck in traffic, trying to get him to the airport on time.) 

For our weekend getaway and Cameron's visit to his dad's, everyone was flying out the same day, within 30 minutes of each other. We were flying out of Washington Dulles International Airport, as opposed to our usual Reagan National. The difference in airports is vast. At Reagan, you can pretty much go from parking lot to plane in 20 minutes or less. Dulles involves longer security lines, People Movers and/or trains to get to gates, and it's a haul just getting inside from the parking lot. So, we ended up cutting it a little close this time. Again. Cameron had the most to lose, as his flight was first out. And we were getting on our own flight. So what if Cameron missed his, and we made ours, and he was stranded? The amazing thing about this doomsday scenario, is that it didn't occur to me until after I had received a text from Cameron that he had made it to the gate. 

The fact that I didn't think through problem-solving for Cameron ahead of time says a lot. Somewhere along the line, I have developed confidence in Cameron being able to sort things out. As we were exiting security, my husband started giving Cameron directions to his B gate and the train he needed to take. I was thinking, "Hello? He's got this! Why are you being such a Mother Hen?" Talk about role reversal! Usually my husband is the one saying, "Let him figure it out." It was such a great feeling to be the one letting go for a change, and having confidence in Cameron's capabilities. So much confidence that I scheduled our return the day after Cameron's. Getting himself home from the airport, and fending for himself for 24 hours until we return? He's got this, no problem. And if there is a problem, it's a great opportunity for him to hone his problem-solving skills. (And my stress management skills.)