As a mother of two adults, I thought the days of childish giggles of pure joy and excitement were over. It fills my heart to know they are not. Yesterday, I witnessed my son starting a dream. Learning to fly.
He got out of the car with a smile on his face, and he walked over to give us hugs. He pulled down his mask and said, “ I even trimmed my beard so I would look good for today.” It was like he was going on a first date.
We walked inside the quiet and empty Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to the flight school.
The young woman at the desk greeted us with enthusiasm and asked who wanted to ride in the back seat. I immediately backed up, shaking my head.
Scott and I turned to Ashley. She was shocked; she thought she would be working on homework for the next two hours. Now, she had the opportunity to experience Cam’s first flight. She half-jokingly replied, “As long as you don’t crash.”
The instructor, Brian, found us in the lobby and explained the lesson. He nonchalantly indicated that it was turbulent up in the air. He seemed unconcerned but wanted the kids to know in case they wanted to reschedule. Cam was NOT going to postpone this lesson, and Ashley decided to brave it out.
Cameron learned how to perform the pre-flight work on the Cessna 172. He climbed up to the wing to check the fuel quality and quantity and then checked the oil and control surfaces.
Then, it was time. Surprisingly, my excitement prevailed as I watched my two children climb into the plane. Cameron actually conducted the take-off. They flew over Mount Tom and UMASS Amherst. They flew through the snow.
A short half-hour later, Cam descended the plan. As they got closer to the ground, the instructor took over and landed the plane.
Cam was all smiles and still a bit shaky when he walked into the building. He booked his next lesson as Brian filled in his flight log. Still a bit overwhelmed by the experience, Cam knocked over two displays of business cards. He scrambled to help put things back in order. I don’t know that I have ever witnessed such joy.
As a parent, you constantly work and strive to help your children find their place in the world and fulfill their dreams. This moment was extra special because it was Ashley’s idea, her gift. She was determined to make this happen for her brother. There is nothing better than witnessing your children wanting to help each other achieve their dreams.
I don’t think there ever really was a question, but it became evident yesterday that Cam belongs with planes, both on the ground and in the air.
I am participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Weekly Challenge.