A few hours before I learned of the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police, I dropped my 15-year-old son off at the airport to visit his paternal family in Houston for the rest of the summer. I made sure to tell my son to call me once he got to his layover, which would have him sitting in an airport by himself for three hours. As this was his second time flying solo, I was still in mother-hen mode:
Turn your phone off on the flight so the battery won’t die.
Turn your phone on, immediately after you get off the plane, so I can call you.
Get your lunch and find an outlet to charge your phone while you wait for your flight.
Don’t talk to anyone.
If something happens, find a cop.
Those were his directions that I gave him. But when I mentioned the “find a cop” if anything happens, it brought me back to a conversation I had with him when he was 9 years old.
“Mommy, how can you tell the difference between a good cop and bad cop?” was what he asked.
As I was reading the news about Brown’s killing, I patiently waited for my son to reach his layover. I checked the time, and waited 10 minutes after his flight was scheduled to land.
I called his phone. It went straight to voice mail.