Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday evening, we drove Will up to the airport for his flight to London. We helped him navigate the e-ticket machines, where he swiped his passport and received his boarding pass and checked his luggage. Then we watched him go through security and disappear into the secure area in search of the G concourse. Neither of us cried, but I was left with a hollow feeling inside. This is his first solo trip. He's just over two months shy of seventeen, but of course I can remember when I could hold his little head in the palm of my hand and his tiny legs dangled around my elbow. It seems like just last week that I had to spend hours everyday bouncing him on my shoulder, walking circles around the dining room table to get him to fall asleep. Now he's thousands of miles away.

He called a few minutes ago from my sister-in-law's house in Warwickshire. He had a smooth trip, with nothing worse than a lot of waiting around to deplane and clear passport control at Heathrow.


Christopher Tassava said...

Oh dear lord. I hope Will haas a great ime, but I can only imagine the feeling of being a parent with a kid all the way over there... I hope - for your sakes - that he writes or calls frequently!

Penelope said...

Phoebe flew on her own to Berlin via Paris about 10 days ago, back to Paris on Tuesday, and is due home on Saturday. She is now with her dad and his girlfriend in Paris, but all her traveling has been solo. I've had a couple of e-mails, thank goodness, so I knew that she had arrived at each destination. Of course I've been used to her being away for the past year at college, but knowing she's thousands of miles away across an ocean, finding her own way to where she needs to go, feels rather different. You give advice, you worry a little, and then you just have to trust. It's all stages in what I heard described years ago as "holding close with open arms." It's a concept that works for me. But I'll be glad when she's safely back on the ground.

Have a great vacation, Rob.

Mary Schier said...

This post reminded me of sending my oldest off to Washington, D.C., for a summer program when she was exactly Will's age. I was nervous; she was exuberant. She traveled solo several times while in high school and each time she came back a little more mature. Penny's got it right: Worry (because what parent can help that) but trust they'll get there and back and be better for the experience.

Hope you enjoy your island vacation.

Shan said...

Since my girls are just-turned-4 and almost-2, this is unimaginable to me. I plan to never let them travel or live more than an hour away from me.

New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .