Sorry I've been so MIA lately. I have been up to my eyeballs in wedding stuff, travel, work...you name it...I'm doing it!
I had the pleasure of having my Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party in the town I grew up in. My mom, stepmom, mother-in-law to be, and friends all live there. I travel there a lot for work, so I was able to extend a work trip into a personal trip for the weekend too.
My SD13 has wanted to go see FH's parents there, but BM won't let them travel without an adult (a totally different story, but no time for that here). So, SD was given the option to travel with me. I booked my work trip, we discussed it with her, and made sure that she was ok with going (she's never been on a plane before and was totally freaked...I think it doesn't help that BM is afraid of flying). She said she really wanted to go, FH talked to BM, she reluctantly agreed to it, and bam...the ticket was purchased.
In the weeks leading up to the trip SD was getting increasingly nervous, but myself and FH fly a lot for work. Enough to have status and my SD and I got upgraded to first class on the way out of town. YAHOOOOOO! A 3 hour trip in first class is always super nice, and this would be a more relaxing way for SD to have her first plane ride. I made a list of stuff for her to pack and sent her an email beforehand (not just because I'm a total control freak, but her mom is a total moron about these things and I was picking her up from BM's house so she'd need to be ready to go). Let's just say that BM told SD that she didn't need to "follow SIT's list" because "she knew better" and SD was missing multiple things I spelled out that she would need. Oh well...not my problem.
We got to the airport and BM kept texting her. I finally asked her, "who do you think is more nervous about this trip...you or BM?" She's like, "mom for sure...she wants me to text her everywhere we are...I'm not nervous anymore, I'm just really excited for a new adventure." Good for you SD that you don't let your freak out mom get the best of you.
I walked her through the process of everything at the airport. Getting your boarding pass, going through security, finding your gate, checking out all the little shops, etc. I wanted her to love the process of travel, people watching, and becoming a grown young woman. She was loving it!
When we boarded the plane she was so excited to be in first class that she started to forget all about being nervous about flying. I talked her through take off, and then let her sit by the window (she thought she wouldn't want to look down so she gave it up at first). I sat there thinking to myself how cool it was that I was the one getting to experience this first time thing, and how she'll remember this for the rest of her life. Maybe from me she will get the love of travel. Lord knows she won't get it from her mom!
By the time we land at our destination, she is elated! She "loves" travel, and is so excited to be there. She is beaming, and almost forgets to call her mom. I made sure she did, and she couldn't stop telling her how "awesome" everything was. She only talked to her for about 5 minutes and then we went on to my in-laws house.
My in-laws are amazing. I have the best relationship with them, and they are so welcoming, funny, loving, and I'm always excited to see them. It's good for SD to see me get along with them...BM never really did.
The next day was my shower where my SD finally got to meet my mom, stepmom, and some friends she'd never met in the 3 years we've been together. She was a little overwhelmed for sure, but I think it was good for her to see a lot of positivity and support for the wedding. I know it was weird but she was nice to everyone and I was happy for her. I think for her to be happy about our wedding means she has to be ok with mom and dad not being together. She will never be happy about that, but she seems to really accept that. It's incredible really.
She spent the rest of her trip with grandma and grandpa while I went out for a crazy night of fun and then worked for 3 days. Then we met back up at the airport and flew home together. We didn't get upgraded (sad I know), but we did get to bond a lot and talk on the way home. I feel like we got a little closer from this trip, and it's a good feeling.