(Originally published on May 17, 2015)
I flew the official airplane of Team NewsCut to the Berkshires of Massachusetts on Friday to attend the wedding of my niece on Saturday.
With the ceremonies out of the way, Sunday was chance to give airplane rides to family members who were so interested, including our nieces once removed, two young girls, sharp as whips and destined for great things. Smart, inquisitive, and soaking up what’s around them.
These sorts of things don’t just happen.
Small planes tend to scare people a little bit, even people who are entirely comfortable sitting in an aluminum tube while someone else does the hard work up front.
And young girls are precious things so the more conservative side of the extended family wondered if it was such a good idea to send them skyward with the likes of their Uncle Bob. Because, what if something happened?
The situation was the perfect metaphor for what we have become as a nation — constantly fearful of the world around us.
Their mother, as wise a woman as ever was, answered their concern thus: “Absolutely. I want them to experience all that they want to experience. I don’t want them to ever be afraid to try new things.”
In two sentences, everything anybody needs to know about raising children!
The first-grader went first and loved it. The sixth-grader followed and could not contain her delight, assuring me on a bumpy day that she had a strong stomach.
You can see a lot from a small plane in ever increasing and decreasing amounts of altitude, but nothing compares with seeing your house and understanding its place in relation to things you can’t see from the ground.
Sometimes, if you try hard, you can see the future.
“Want to fly the plane?” I asked.
And, of course she did — the first time, I believe, she’s flown an airplane herself as we sailed over a few mountains where she told me that maybe someday she’d like to learn to fly. There aren’t anywhere near enough female pilots because the nation raised too many generations of women who were told there are many things they can’t do.
We climbed to see what a small cloud looks like up close, then gently descended and returned to terra firma and the arms of smiling and appreciative parents.
She was the best passenger of any age I’ve ever had.
At school tomorrow, they will likely talk about the day they made an airplane fly.
I, as you might have guessed, will talk about the parents who entrust their children to the experiences of the world and let them change us forever.