Ryan and I flew to California today. We flew on Southwest Airlines which I haven't done in many years. Since before having kids I think. As you probably know, seats are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the first leg of the trip, we were in the 5th of 6 boarding groups and were not able to sit together. He was across the aisle from me so I felt okay about that.
Looking ahead to the next flight, we were in the 3rd of what I thought was 6 boarding groups so I figured we should be able to find two seats together. Unfortunately the second plane was a different type than the first one with fewer seats so we were actually in the 3rd of 4 boarding groups. I thought we might get seats together in the rear of the plane and so passed up many closer together (but not actually next to each other) seat choices on the way to the rear. It was just not my day because by the time we got back there, there was only one seat left. I gave it to Ryan and went to find a seat a few rows up. Of course by this time everyone else behind us in line had boarded and sat down so I ended up all the way in the front of the plane in the second row. This leg of the journey was a 4 1/2 hour flight. The flight crew was in the process of getting the plane ready for departure so I figured I would have to wait until the seatbelt sign was turned off before I could go check on him and see about possibly moving him to a row closer to me. Once we took off and the flight attendants were passing out drinks, I asked the flight attendant to look for Ryan and make sure he was okay. She came back to report that he was sitting next to an off-duty flight attendant and had already fallen fast asleep. I waited until about halfway through the flight to go back to check on him. He was doing fine so I left him sitting there for the rest of the flight.
At the end, as we were deplaning, Ryan told me about the giant bag of pretzels the flight attendants had given him to share with his cousins. I told him that must have been because he was behaving so well.
I was watching a reality show last year sometime and in it, the kids of the family had to take turns being in charge of the plans and navigation of the day. I decided I should try to have the kids lead the way when we are in the airport so that when they are older and travelling alone I can be confident that they know what to do. As it turns out, Ryan's semi-solo flight today was a good test run for flying alone. He passed with flying colors. I'm so proud.