Alex left this morning for college. It should have been a seamless transition from home life to college life. However, in typical Benson Family fashion it wasn’t so seamless. Actually, seamless is far from the truth!
The Plan: My mom, dad and Alex were to fly down to Salt Lake City, stay with my Grandmother for a few days and then drive north to Rexburg, Idaho to get her settled into her dorm and new college life. This morning, their flight was to leave at 6am. At least that was the plan. Didn’t go as planned.
What Happened: The plan was to leave for the airport about 4am. I was the lucky one who got to drive them to the airport. (Darn mom, who remembered that I had her drive me to the airport a few weeks earlier….wish she had forgot!) However, it was like 4:15-4:20am by the time we hit the road. My dad jokingly asked Alex “You have your wallet, right?” In typical early morning Alex manner, she mumbled “No.” Yet, the way it came across, my parents thought she was joking and we drove a bit farther – until I stepped in and straight up asked her if she had her drivers license.
Brakes slammed. Car U-Turned. Back home we went.
No big deal, Alex told us that her purse was sitting on the kitchen table. She jumped out of the car and inside. When she came scurrying out into the garage and into her car, it became apparent that she had no idea where her purse was. (It’s now pushing 4:30am)
My parents are clearly frustrated and panicked, so we all jump out of the car and turn the house upside down looking for her purse. Nothing. So where was her purse? She had several options…
- Grandma’s House - We had gone to my Grandma’s so Alex could say bye.
- The house we’re dog sitting at - She may have brought it in with her when she ran into feed the dog.
- Ixtapa - Our family favorite restaurant, where we had all gone out to dinner at last night.
- Mary’s Car – Alex went with Mary to see the Broadway production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella last night. It could have been left in her car
- 5th Avenue Theater, downtown Seattle
Purse Search #1: We started with calling Grandma at 4:30am, a time that nobody wants to receive a phone call at. Verdict: Grandma didn’t have Alex’s purse
Purse Search #2: Then we called Mary. Verdict: Mary is sound asleep, isn’t answering her phone
Plan B: My dad recently put all of our birth certificates and current passports back into the Safety Deposit Box, which was clearly not an option to grab at 4:30 in the morning. However, he had her expired passport and her social security card, that they were going to to try to use to get her through security. Right as we’re walking out the door, she grabs her High School ID card as another piece of identification.
We jump back into the car and now it’s pushing 5:00am … flight leaves at 6am.
We stop by the house where we’re dog sitting at for her to run in and check to see if her purse was left there.
Purse Search #3: Dog-Sitting House. Verdict: No purse
Now it’s time to actually head to the airport.
My mom calls the airport to see what the chances were of Alex being able to get through security with an expired passport, her social security card and high school ID card. The airport pretty much tells her, she has a 50-50 chance of getting through. They will not know until she goes through the security check point.
It’s at that point that I point out to make Alex seem even more terrorist-y she will be going through security with a 1-way ticket (since they were dropping her off at college) and no real identification. At that point my dad is convinced Alex isn’t going anywhere until her purse is found. But we continue on to the airport. The new plan is they go to the airport and I get to circle the airport until they get through security, so I can pick-up Alex if she isn’t able to get through.
The tension in the car was extreme. Alex decides to break some of it up with her “joke,” which made us all laugh and release some pent-up anxiety!
Alex: “I don’t understand why they would think I would be a terroist. I’m flying with both my parents (granted, I guess they could be my hostages! haha!), two large suitcases filled with all my belongings, and no real ID. Don’t you think if I was a real terrorist I would have valid ID? Why would I want to flag myself, going through security? Clearly a terrorist would be the perfect person to go through security!”
That’s probably very true!
We made great time to the airport, but as we approach the departure area traffic backs up. It’s at that time we realize, there’s no way they were going to make there flight. I dropped them off and began my constant circling of the airport, while they pray they can still make the flight.
Five minutes after I drop them off, I was beginning my return back through the departure lanes, when Alex calls me. Apparently they left her expired passport and social security card in the car. Seriously? After all that? They tell me, there was no need to hurry, they had already missed their flight.
I make my way back to my mom, give her the passport and social security card and once again circle the airport – waiting for the call that either I needed to pick-up Alex or was free to head home.
About ten minutes later the call came and amazingly I was free to head home. Alex breezed right through security and they were booked on a flight that left in an hour.
Upon getting home, I stopped to feed the dog….remember our Purse Search #3 location?? I walk right in and there’s her purse sitting on the counter. Alex must have been so flustered when she ran into the house that she just didn’t see it.
After I went home and slept a few hours, I made a trip to the Post Office and shipped her purse to her.
End of Story
She’s only been gone 14 hours and I am already sad missing her. Hope the next 12 weeks go by fast, because I can tell it could be a long wait!