85 Completely Rational Thoughts I Had When My Son Traveled Across the Country Without Me


Coaxing my homebody teen from his comfy boy cave often requires a hard sell. There’s usually some kind of edible bribery involved, and when there isn’t, he’s pretty much clock-watching until we get home. So when my son expressed interest in joining his class trip to the east coast, my husband and I did everything we could to encourage his newfound wanderlust.

At last, our happy-at-home boy was ready to venture outside his comfort zone. Lord knows we’ve encouraged him. Heck, we’ve even forced him at times, so this trip and all I hoped it would inspire had me laser focused on him.

It wasn’t until he started packing that I realized something: My son was about to travel across the country without me. For six whole days. Without me. On an airplane. Without me. 2,700 miles away. WITHOUT ME!

I realize this might not seem like a big deal to some of you. Maybe you have kids who are curious explorers. Maybe your kids are independent by nature. But my son is neither of these things, and as a result, I’m terribly inexperienced in letting him go.

Saying goodbye wasn’t going to be easy. Life without him wasn’t going to be fun, but it would prove to be at least a little funny with these completely rational thoughts I had when my son went away:

1. “Bye, I love you.” [hugs way too tight for way too long]

2. Do not cry.


4. Why aren’t other moms crying?!

5. [Family whistle] “MAKE GOOD CHOICES!”

6. I miss him already.

7. Is it too late to chaperone?

8. Spirit Airlines? Never heard of ’em.

9. Googles “History of Spirit Airlines.”

10. OK, they’re a real airline. They should really advertise more. Breathe.

11. Planes are safer than cars. Planes are safer than cars. Planes are safer than cars.

12. Has he landed? Has he landed? Has he landed? Whew! He’s landed.

13. Will he remember what his luggage looks like?

14. I bet he’s so excited!

15. I’m so excited!

16. He better not lose his phone …

17. … or his wallet.

18. Terrorism. I’m worried about terrorism.

19. What if he gets lost?

20. What if he gets lost and his phone has no battery?

21. Relax. He could always use a pay phone.

22. But does he know how to use a pay phone?

23. OMG, I don’t think he’s ever actually used a pay phone! That’s weird. And scary!

24. Wait, are there even still pay phones? I haven’t seen one in a really long time.

25. Would he have enough change to make a call?

26. Calm down, that’s what collect calls are for.

27. Oh God, does he know how to make a collect call?

28. Does he know what a collect call is?


30. I don’t feel good.

31. I wish I could have microchipped him.

32. That’s not weird, is it?

33. Of course not. I microchipped my dog.

34. I hope he’s having fun!

35. Wow, the house is really quiet without him.

36. I should try to FaceTime him. I bet he misses my face.

37. Yeah, he totally misses my face.

38. Maybe I’ll just text him: “I miss you! I love you! Have fun! [thumbs up emoji, kissy face emoji, Statue of Liberty emoji, American flag emoji]”

39. Why hasn’t he replied?

40. What is he doing that he can’t reply?

41. Dammit, send me a selfie, an emoji ANYTHING!

42. Jeez, I send him on this cool trip and he can’t even reply?

43. Kids today, man.

44. Maybe he hasn’t replied because his phone is lost.


46. Who should I call?!

47. I’m going to track his phone.

48. [Receives text] “K”

49. “K”? Harrumph.

50. At least he’s not lost.

51. I hope he’s not cold.

52. Did he remember to wear sunscreen?

53. What is he doing right now? [checks agenda]

54. There is so much more food in this house with him gone!

55. How many more days until he comes home?

56. You know, I’m not crazy about four boys sharing a hotel room unsupervised.

57. What if they trash it like a bunch of drunken frat boys?

58. Does the hotel block access to those adult movies?

59. (I mean, for the other boys.)

60. My son would never watch anything like that …

61. … or would he …

62. I’m going to pretend that he wouldn’t.

63. I hope he knows those minibar M&Ms cost like $7.

64. I bet he hates sharing a bed with another kid.

65. He better be showering.

66. Vacation poop. I hope he’s not having vacation poop problems.

67. [Receives text from friend] “Are you worried about girls on this trip?”


69. Please be a good boy.

70. What’s he doing now? [checks agenda]

71. And what about now? [checks agenda]

72. How about now? [checks agenda]

73. My boy comes home today!

74. Crap, his flight was delayed an hour due to a storm.

75. Double crap! His flight was delayed another hour!

76. How bad is this storm?

77. Sooooo, my son is now flying 400 mph through a giant storm at 39,000 feet, nbd.

78. NBD, RIGHT?!

79. Has he landed? Has he landed? Has he landed? Whew! He’s landed.

80. When is the ever-loving bus going to arrive?

81. I see the bus! I see the bus! I see the bus!

82. Excuse me! Pardon me! Excuse me!

83. “Hi!” [waves excitedly] “Hi! Hi! Hi!” [hugs way too tight for way too long]

84. [Physically inspects child] “We missed you! How was your trip? How was the flight? Are you tired? Are you hungry? Did you grow? You look bigger! I think you grew. So, tell me everything! Start from the beginning. So you got to the airport and then what happened?”

85. [Sigh] My boy is home.

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