I worked a flight a while ago with an unaccompanied minor that was unbelievably comfortable flying. She was six years old and was more prepared for flying than I had ever been in my life. She had three books to read, paper and crayons to color, and her own personal DVD player tucked into her rolling backpack.
When she sat down, she stretched out like she knew the whole routine. Her hot pink princess backpack went completely underneath the seat in front of her and her books went into the back pocket of the chair, while she starting nibbling on her goldfish crackers that she brought onboard. All of this was, of course, after she had buckled herself in.
Apparently, she was a frequent flyer since her parents lived in two different states and she would go back and forth between the two. I can’t imagine being six years old and knowing where and what to do on an airplane.
In fact, the first time I ever took a flight by myself as an unaccompanied minor was when I was in 5th grade. That’d make me ten years old. I remember the entire experience like it was yesterday because it was one of the scariest things I’d ever done.
My parents escorted me all the way to the gate and passed me along to the flight attendant. It was only a short flight, from Burbank to San Jose (about an hour flight) to go to Stanford’s volleyball camp for the summer with my cousin. I’ve flown on planes before, so I was always familiar with the atmosphere, but I never did it by myself. My mom always ordered the apple juice for me when the flight attendant came around.
I followed this stranger up the air stairs and took an aisle seat near the front of the plane. The flight attendant asked if I was okay and then left to finish her boarding duties. After a couple of people boarded, a monk happened to find a seat right next to me. I’m not entirely sure I even knew what a monk was in 5th grade, but there he was to my right.
After the flight took off, the monk started chatting with me. He asked me if I was Vietnamese, and when I gave him a positive response, I found out that he was too. He then followed up by asking if I could read Vietnamese and handing me a Vietnamese newspaper. Sorry man, I grew up in a 90% Caucasian city so it was hard enough to keep my speech let alone learn how to read Vietnamese.
He kept speaking to me in Vietnamese, asking if I was Buddhist and if I’ve ever been to a temple. He then gave me his business card to his temple and told me that I should come visit. Looking back on it now, that’s really creepy for a child. Like… really creepy.
The flight attendant only checked on me one other time to ask me what I wanted to drink, but besides that, she pretty much ignored me the rest of the flight.
As for the monk, he must have gotten tired of my yes/no answers because he put on sunglasses and went to sleep. I’m not joking you. Sunglasses! He didn’t talk to me again for the rest of the flight because he was out cold. No noise or turbulence could wake him up.
I was pretty traumatized from that experience and now that the roles are reversed, I ALWAYS check on my unaccompanied minors (UM)’s and make sure there are no creepy people sitting next to them. I talk to them and get to know the UM’s so they’re comfortable with me and letting me know if they have a problem. Kids are young, they won’t speak up for themselves so you have to protect them! Otherwise they’ll get an experience like mine and judge monks for the rest of their lives.
AllRecipes has never steered me in the wrong direction, and these cookies are proof of that. They’re a great staple cookie recipe for one without chocolate. I added pecans to mine, but you can feel free to omit it if you’re not a nut lover. It’d still be a great cookie without the pecans.
They look like hard cookies, but don’t fret. They’re nice and soft, like all the cookies I love so much.