My Master Plan

before we knew better...Because I’ve been winning the Airport Wars, I got to make two trips to LAX in the last two days.  Yesterday, Henry. This morning, Quinn.

Before we left, I asked Quinn if he had checked-in online.

“No,” he replied breezily, “I’m checking a bag so I’ll just do it when I get there.”

It being a) the crack of dawn and b) part of my master plan to let my kids suffer the consequences of their own actions, I said nothing.

At the airport, we took our requisite cell phone photo memento (see above), then I headed home. It’s always hard to be sad when Quinn goes away because he’s always so HAPPY to be going where he’s going. But I couldn’t help myself.

I  had just settled in at my desk when I got a text from the traveler.

Him: “Can’t locate my record.  (Expletive deleted) American.”

Me: “Need I say this is why you get your boarding pass the night b4?  Or is that gratuitous at this point?”

Him: “Gratuitous.”

The texts that followed included him bitching about an uncooperative ticket kiosk and an obtuse human agent, and my advice about how to guilt trip said agent into giving him priority access when she realized the error of American Airlines’ ways. And then I got this one…

Him: “Apparently, I booked my flight for January 29…”

We’re all aware, right, that today is December 29?

What’s a mother to do?

If I stick to my master plan, nothing. I send a few sympathetic texts, go about my day and let him suffer the consequences, in this case, an insanely expensive same-day ticket purchase, connections through snow-bound cities, and general holiday airport misery.

And then I think….what possible harm could it do to see if I have any frequent flyer miles taking up virtual space at AmericanAirlines.com?

Cut to… me discovering that for a mere 25,000 miles I could get him a non-stop ticket just a few hours later. Oh. And did I mention that it was a FIRST CLASS ticket?

I hesitated briefly, and then I solved his problem.

Of course, he was thrilled. First class travel. No baggage fees. Lounge access. What’s not to like? As far as he was concerned, the only downside  was that it was too early in the day to take advantage of the free Sierra Nevada on tap.

I, on the other hand, was torn.  What had happened to my master plan?  When did I lose what I thought was my steely resolve to let my chicks suffer the consequences of their actions?

My only excuse is that it’s so hard to let them go that I’ll do anything, including being a bad parent, to take care of them just a little bit more.

Go on, be honest. Was that a giant parenting FAIL?

9 thoughts on “My Master Plan

  1. A similar situation happened with Jess – Michael capitulated but I have to say, I stood firm. The only way for our ‘kids’ to learn now, is by their mistakes and Quinn got a first class ride…BUT, nothing is just black and white… Anna, having said all that, I do believe that we need to listen to that ‘mother’s instinct ‘and knowing you, you made the right decision!!! X

  2. Sigh, I bailed when Lauren realized she missed her flight back to school by one day. Ironically, she was desperately trying to get her 24 hr online boarding pass, and it kept failing. Hahaha, finally realized she could not get a pass for a flight that had already landed at her final destination. However, it only cost $100 extra to get a new flight booked for the next day.
    I probably would have downgraded Quinn to Coach though ;~

    right now I am trying to decide if I can afford to take time off to fly to Florida and help Lauren replace the car that was totaled in an accident. No one injured, luckily. Thing is, she would do much better with someone who actually knows something about cars!
    Stay tuned 🙂

    • Think you’re right about the Coach, Maria. Oh well, we are all learning…

      Ironically, Quinn is our family expert on cars – if you want his opinion on Lauren’s options, let me know!

    • Such an interesting idea. When and how do we shift out of our roles as parents, teachers, guardians and into friends? Or do we ever, completely?

  3. I had a therapist look me directly in the eye once and said out of the blue…”You’ve been through some pretty tough times haven’t you…and I really enjoy talking to you, I think because of those tough times you turned out a better person”. Thinking I had just received a free and wonderful compliment I just said thank you…and then she said “So why do you want to rob your daughter of that”?

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