"You are going to Edinburgh but not staying", the girl who was polishing my nails asked. I explained that I was going to pick up my daughter, not going on holiday myself. "But to pay so much money for a ticket and then not have a holiday?", she continued. But I was on holiday. I was on holiday in Copenhagen with my family and I wanted Zoe to be there too. Besides, her dad was flying to Bangkok two days after and via Paris, not Copenhagen. I guess I could have picked her up in Paris too, but that would add one plane ticket to the puzzle. And yes, this was expensive, I had tried to minimize expenses by flying discount airlines, but it still had made a big dent in my otherwise okay Christmas holiday budget. But where I might hesitate at going out for expensive dinner and decide that presents might have a lower maximum this year (it's the thought that counts right?), picking up Zoe from her Christmas in Edinburgh was never really about choice. She is only three and I'm not going to get into the regulatory details about kids flying alone (because I actually know them for each airline and each route), but she cannot fly alone yet. I sometimes imagine creating a private kids-transportation pairing service for people in my situation: A pool of people willing to fly with a kid (out of charity) and a pool of kids needed to be transported around Europe by plane. Then you enter a route for your child and potential timing and get matched with an adult willing to fly with the kid. This would save me a lot of headache and money. I have already asked friends if they could bring Zoe on the flight from Stockholm to Copenhagen a couple of times but so far without luck. The furthest I have gotten is buying my mom a cheap plane ticket so she could get into the terminal and pick up Zoe, and the power of social networking resulting in a friend of a friend who works in the airport bringing Zoe out to my mom while Zoe's dad caught a connecting flight. The girl still seemed puzzled and I changed the subject.
But today I caught a 10 am flight to Edinburgh, crossed my fingers that the storm over the British isles would not result in any delays and went to pick up Zoe. She spent Christmas with her dad, which she thoroughly enjoyed and I was actually fine about it in the end. My christmas was full of sweets, nice food, glogg and a subset of my close family. Zoe was excited to see me and we all had a coffee before I ventured back through security for the second time that day, now with Zoe in tow, and caught the plane back to Copenhagen. Zoe was very happy to see grandma again and I was exhausted but relieved it all worked out.