My daughter’s first time flying

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. –Eleanor Roosevelt

Early last week, my daughter Natalia and I landed in Orlando, FL, where we’re visiting family. I’ve air traveled before, but this is a first for Natalia. She had reservations about visiting her relatives, but I let her know that everything will be all right. The main reason she was scared of flying down here was because she was afraid the 9/11 terrorist attacks would happen again. However, I talked to her about all the precautions the TSA took to make sure passengers were safe and such  thing won’t happen again (we hope and pray).

I explained to her what we’re allowed to carry on board (certain-sized carry-ons and liquids in 3 ounce or less bottles) and not allowed to carry (no food or drinks outside the security area). And of course, Natalia witnessed for herself going through security. She saw how laptops and electronics had to be taken out of bags and put in bins. She saw that travelers had to remove belts, and adults and people over 12 years old must remove their shoes. Most of all, she saw that no one is allowed to carry any weapons or weapon-like items on board.

After going through TSA security, we sat down in a chair before heading to the gate area if she thought these TSA precaution made her feel safer. She said it did, understanding the very careful procedures. We boarded our plane, where we watched the in-flight movie “Despicable Me”, enjoyed snacks and shared a memory.

In facing her fear of flying, I’m very proud of my daughter. She’s growing up fast, and I’m trying to instill in her that it’s okay to be afraid — everybody is, even those who say they aren’t:-). However, it’s not whether a person is brave that makes them courageous, I constantly remind her; it’s forging ahead in spite of fear.

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