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When Your Two Year Old Travels Without You

What if you had the chance to book a trip that would be incredibly memorable for everyone in your family but it meant you and your husband were boarding one plane and your two year old would be jet-setting with a family member who has flown fewer times than your child? Would you do it?

Last summer in a random array of text messages, my husband and I decided he should tag along on a work trip I was taking to Chicago for four days (this decision was being made a week before the trip). My husband’s family lives close by and watches our son often, so they volunteered to take him the days that we’d be out of town.

Within hours of this decision I got a few texts to which I responded “sure” followed by a call from my husband, confirming what I’d just agreed to.

“Really? You don’t mind if Colton spends the week at my parents’ house while we’re gone and a few days after?” – Husband

“Wait- your parents? In Washington?!” – Frantic Me

“Yes, didn’t you read the texts, they need an answer. There is only one reward seat left on the flight my aunt is booked on.” – Husband

And so the pro/con list began to build in my head…

Pro: Colton will get to spend time with all his grandparents (my parents are in Washington too).

Con: My husband’s aunt hasn’t flown in 10 years. How will she navigate an airport with an active two year old?!

Pro: Colton is less likely to remember we’re out of town if he’s on his own adventure.

Con: My only child will be travelling to another state and on someone else’s schedule for 10 days!

And on the list went… I verbalized parts of it to my husband over the phone—OK, mainly only the cons. While I seriously thought my husband and his family we’re crazy, when our conversation ended 10 minutes later I found myself in my colleague’s office asking her if I had really just approved letting my son take a sans-parent trip to another state for 10 days.

To say this was one of the most nerve-wracking decisions I’ve ever made is an understatement.  In the end, with careful preparation, everyone’s trips went great and were incredibly memorable.

While I’d never want to be asked such an important question on such a short time frame again, I’m happy with the decision we made and the outcome for everyone involved.

If you were in my shoes, would you have done the same?

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