“Have a Good Time!”

Just dropped my fourteen-year-old at the airport. She’s off to southern California to spend a week with her aunt who will no doubt spoil her rotten. She’s been excited for three weeks. Today, I put an end to all that.

In my story, “Sail Away,” my heroine is a worrywart who stresses about everything that could possibly happen to her children. I thought I’d based the character on my mother. Seems my lead may be a little closer to home.

I told my daughter all the usuals: stay in the terminal; don’t use the stairs; if you get lost, go to a ticketing agent. But then I couldn’t stop. Kind of like Twizzlers. If I taste just one, I have to eat the whole package.

My primary focus – abduction. Now the airport is probably the safest place as far as protected boundaries, but there are exits. I told my daughter that if anyone should stick something in her side and tell her to not make a sound, she should scream “Bomb!” I figure in an airport, that would grab the most attention. (If someone accidently bumps into her, and DFW is locked down for the day, please forgive me.)

Then I went on to explain why she’d have a better chance of surviving a gun or knife wound than being taken away in a car to a distant location. As fear replaced the excitement in her eyes, I realized I might have gone too far, so I switched back to “Happy Mom.” I took a picture of her, much like the first day of school. After all, this was her first solo flight without the assistance of an airline rep. I didn’t mention it would be good to have a picture of her in what she was last wearing if we had to do an Amber Alert.

In the security line, I made a point to focus on all the fun she’d have. When we parted, I left a happy girl. She looked so grown-up with her beautiful smile, long, blonde hair and way too perfect body. I couldn’t help but call out:

“If anyone offers to show you the cockpit, slap his face and run away.”