Sunday, July 12, 2009

All By Himself

As insane as it may sound, today I put Eric on a plane bound for St. Louis all by himself. Trust me, it wasn't easy and I went back and forth for several months wondering if it was a good idea. The idea came about after our visit to St. Louis last March. The night before we left to come home, Eric was in tears because he didn't want to leave Peggy's house. He just loves Peggy ... and she him. Peggy and Eric have a special connection (she was, after all in the delivery room with me (and Mark) when he was born). Peggy says Eric is the son she never got (she has three grown sons - who, incidently, are all successful kids) because he has such a passion for learning and information and Peg is one of those people who will go to the zoo and read every plaque and exhibit sign .... and Eric will listen and ask questions - while the rest of us (okay, maybe just me) wants to hurry and move to the next exhibit. The two of them are peas in a pod.

After our visit in March, Peg and I got to talking about having Eric come out in the summer to spend a week with her. It sounded good in theory, but the idea of putting Eric on a plane by himself was a tough one. Mary and Hilary started flying by themselves when they were 6 and 8, but they always flew together. (When we lived in St. Louis, they would always fly home to Arizona in the summer to spend a couple weeks with their cousins). Eric was excited about coming out to Peggy's, but I wasn't sure he really got the fact that he would be going alone. I kept asking him if he would be okay flying by himself and he kept saying yes. So, I bit the bullet and bought the ticket. Even after buying the ticket, I was nervous about him flying alone. I figured that if he was too scared and didn't want to get on the plane that would be fine, I wouldn't force him. Well, today was the day and he did fine. He was a little nervous -- he kept coming up with all these ridiculous scenarios of his possible demise while on the plane.

Such as,

"What if the pilot dies while flying the airplane?"

"Well, there is a co-pilot."

"What if he dies too?"

"It's not likely to happen Eric, don't worry .... there will be a pilot flying your plane the entire time!"

When it was time to board, he really was okay. Off he went without looking back. I did feel much better when I saw another boy flying by himself as well - he was several years older than Eric. They boarded together, so I knew Eric would be fine. In fact, as Eric was rolling his luggage through the walkway to the plane, he was having trouble, and the other boy came back to help Eric and grabbed the handle and both of them rolled the luggage onto the plane together. It was too sweet. (see last picture).

Eric arrived safe and sound in St. Louis and he is very much enjoying having Peggy all to himself. Hopefully, he'll have some time to give me an update here and there throughout the week. I miss him already!

Ready to board

No looking back

His sweet helper

Have a GRAND week everyone.


worthy said...

Hope Eric has a fantastic time with Peggy,he's a brave boy (and you are a brave mum!) I can't even imagine James flying alone and he's nearly 13!

Alicia said...

Wow, what a brave little man!! I would have been a nervous wreck too, but I am so glad you let him do this. It sounds like he will have a blast with his Peggy!

Susan said...

Wow, you are brave. He seems like the type of kid who could do it. It's a great confidence builder I'm sure. What a great thing to be able to do. He is lucky. My kids have never even been on an airplane even with m & d. Poor kids.

Melisande said...

He's a kick, Ann! What a boy!

Anonymous said...

Oh that must have been difficult. He is brave indeed to do that. I still get nervous going by myself.
Have a great week Ann.