What name did my son use to authorize me to pick up my 12-year-old CA grandson from the Boston airport?
“Sky” had never flown on his own. But he couldn’t wait for the taste of independence (and full attention from doting grandparents) by flying across country to visit us for a week.
Our son, the nervous father, decided to allow Sky that freedom, although he also paid the (exorbitant) extra fee for flight attendant supervision getting on the plane and then checking ID from the authorized person at the gate once the plane arrived.
I was the authorized person . Me. The grandmother. Pamela S Wight. But suddenly on our way to pick up Sky, I had a sinking feeling.
I kept my name when I married. My guy has a delightful last name, and our children share it, but I had/have a delightful last name too and never understood why I needed to change it because of wedding vows.
I texted our son quickly. “What name did you use for the authorization to pick up Sky?”
He replied, “Yours.”
“What exact name?”
Hell’s Bell’s. He used my guy’s last name. And his last name, but not my last name.
I texted again. “My driver’s license is my real name: Pamela S. Wight.”
By the time we reached the airport, son had called United and tried to explain the change in names on the authorization form. It was too late, but the agent “added a note to the on-line form.”
My guy and I raced to the ticket counter. I explained in a high and lilting voice, “I’m here to pick up my grandson!”
“Grandson’s name?” The clerk began to type type type: type type type. “Your license,” he requested. I handed it to him. “Type type type: type type type.
I stood there, holding my breath. One two three ….ten eleven twelve. Just as I exhaled, a machine whirled and the agent handed me a ticket that gave me access through security and to the gate.
But then at Gate 24, where I watched Sky’s plane land and glide into its ramp, I approached the gate’s agent. Used my same excited voice about picking up my grandson.
“You’re at the right place,” the 50-ish man said to me. “Let me finish up the authorization.” Type type type. “Driver’s license please.” Type type type.
I leaned against the counter as if talking to my new best friend. “Look,” I said, “my son has known me for all 40 of his years. He’s known my name for those 40 years. He owns all five of my published books, which show my name in living color. And yet, he used my husband’s last name when filling out the form.”
Understanding brightened the agent’s face. “Oh, you’re one of those!” he said with a laugh.
One of those? What is one of those? I daren’t ask. I just smiled and agreed. I’m one of those.
He nodded and said, “Okay.”
As Sky walked through the tunnel and into the light of the airport, he saw me standing, arms out. “Grammy Pammy!” he shouted, racing in for a hug.