My daughter is getting ready for a church youth trip. She has spent months anticipating the trip with excitement and I have spent months anticipating it with anxiety almost to the point of having a nervous breakdown. Will she remember to take her medication? Will she have a meltdown with the youth leaders and chaperones? Will they know what to do?
What further raises the anxiety level this time is that they are flying. She used to enjoy flying but when they changed the procedures after 911 it has become very stressful for her. Just the fact that she has to take off her shoes going through security is cause for alarm. Is airport security adequately trained for this? Hopefully, just like all the other times, there will be no problems.
This trip is a spiritual journey and they are banned from taking any electronic device–no cellphone, no Ipod, etc. I’m surprised we didn’t have to have these items surgically removed from her ear nevermind that they are a comfort to her during meltdowns. Not to mention that I will not be able to contact my child for 160 hours–that’s 6.5 days to “normal” people. I may have to be sedated.
The most important thing about travelling without a parent is remembering to pack everything especially her medication. It is also imperative we go over basic rules of decorum, not that she will remember any of them but it never hurts. We also discuss every possible scenario that may create a change in routine–cancelled flights, schedule changes and food selection. I always send her favorite poptarts (just in case).
When it’s all over, she will have had a good time and I will be exhausted, but we will both have learned that we can do this–at least until the next time.