An Unaccompanied Minor

This week brings with it a new parenting milestone: the first time my child flies as an “unaccompanied minor.” Concurrent with this, I will descend into a neurotic ball of Jewish mother hysteria.

My 7 yo son will be flying cross country because his Uncle on the opposite coast is getting married and the Ex is already out there. I’m not attending, so – short of a teleportation – the only way to get G there is by airplane, solo.

Folks, there is not enough Klonopin in the world. (Not for him, of course. For me. Just in case that was unclear.)

Now, it’s not like my son hasn’t flown before. His first flight was at the ripe old age of 3 months. Since then, he’s taken multiple long flights, zigzagging all across the country. This past spring, he even took his first international flight when we went on vacation to Costa Rica. But on each and every one of those flights, I or a respective grandmother was there.

When the Ex was a kid, he flew all the time as an unaccompanied minor. His dad was a pilot and his mom a flight attendant, so yeah. He is the one who booked G’s solo voyage (hello, surprise flight confirmation in my email!), telling me “It’s no big deal” and “You cannot let him know you’re nervous about this.” He also assured me that I would walk G onto the plane and he would walk him off. Aside from sitting on the plane itself, G would not be alone.

As if those were my only concerns. My Google search history reads like that of a Cheetos-covered, Angry Birds-playing adolescent on the verge of emotional collapse:

  • iPhone battery life while playing Mino Monsters
  • Are there outlets on airplanes?
  • How many snacks will an airline provide a child?¬†What if he’s really hungry? Do additional reallys = additional snacks? Past a certain number of snacks, is a parental note required?
  • How do you purchase meals on a plane without a credit card? Does extra cash work? How about crying?
  • Changing your plane seat if the person beside you seems creepy
  • Stuffed animals lost on airplanes

And, it only gets worse from there.

Mamas – do any of you have experience with unaccompanied minors? Any tips to make his flight as enjoyable as possible? Any wines you’d recommend I try while his flight is in air?

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