Flying Solo

Flying SoloMy friend Cinnamon came over last Thursday for a little “Tea and Talk”- which – of course – included chocolate brownies!

As we sat there sipping and talking, the conversation turned to watching our sons become young men.

It’s especially hard when they no longer want, but still need, our advice as moms.

She shared with me how she was learning to say, “I’m perfectly happy for you to live with the consequences of your decision.” <insert motherly smile>

It really is quite freeing.

I know this because about 48 hours later I had a chance to practice it.

All last week our oldest son Matt was at Teen Pact Challenge – a grueling boot-camp-like experience designed to teach young men discipline, self-control, teamwork and reliance on God.

He had bought his own plane ticket on-line through Expedia, and the journey to Altanta went without a hitch.

The journey home was another story.

He was scheduled to leave the Atlanta airport at 6:00 on Saturday evening and get into Des Moines about 11:30 with a lay-over in Chicago.

But Saturday afternoon we got a call.

When he went to the counter to check-in he discovered that when he had ordered his ticket, he had accidentally scheduled his return trip for November 9th instead of October 9th.

He either needed to find another flight or wait a month for his scheduled one.

He had just enough time to deliver this news before his trac phone was out of minutes.

So my 17 year old son is stuck at the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport with no ticket and no phone.

My very first thought was “I”m perfectly happy for you to live with the consequences of your decision.” <insert motherly smile>


You know what? It worked!

There wasn’t anything I could do about the situation, and worrying wouldn’t help. He wanted to be grown-up, well, let’s see just what the kid is made of.

It looks like he’s made of pretty good stuff.

Jan went online, put more minutes on Matt’s phone and called him back.

Matt had already called Expedia, even before he called home,  but they wouldn’t do anything since it was less than 6 hours before the flight.

He had also talked to the people at American Airlines, but they wouldn’t do anything because he bought his ticket through Expedia.

He had checked into flights to Des Moines but discovered a flight that night would cost $700 and a flight the next day would be $400. Ouch.

(Can I just say – that at this point I was impressed with everything he had already done to remedy the situation!)

Jan told him to see if there were any flights into Kansas City – which is a little farther away – but usually cheaper.

A little while later we got a call that he got a flight into Kansas City that was actually cheaper than his original ticket. He bought his ticket himself, flew out at 8:00 and arrived in KC about 10:00.

He’s home again with some really smelly clothes and a voracious appetite!

It seems we both learned some valuable lessons that day.

He will never again book a flight without double checking his dates!

And I learned that while the hardest part of mothering is the letting go – it’s so rewarding to see them fly solo!

8 thoughts on “Flying Solo

  1. Isn’t it amazing to see them spread their wings and fly? I dread the day my little Man leaves the nest. Even with him being so small every first step is bittersweet, b/c its a step towards independence and not being my baby boy.


  2. Now I need to go check the dates on our next trip! When I was in college I got to the airport at the time the flight was departing. I had that time in my head as the hour before time that I should arrive. He handled it much better than I…I sobbed! Growing up is hard to do!


  3. Found you through Cinnamon’s blog – thank you so much for posting this quote – I have printed it out in bold and am going to put it on the fridge for all the boys to see! Thanks!


  4. I think we ought to have those “tea and talks” much more often 🙂 Don’t you? 🙂

    You were calm weren’t you!! You are such a good and ~happy~ Mama.

    Glad he is safe at home with lots of fun stories, I’m sure 🙂



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