Learning to Fly

Doesn’t it feel like with your first child, you’re always just a little bit behind the curve?  Everything that happens is brand new, and we have to write those chapters as we go.  When the younger ones get to that age, we think, “Oh, yeah.  We’ve been here – we know what this is…” but with the oldest kid, we’re constantly guessing and wondering and thinking and hoping.

One thing that we constantly bump up against with Jacob is the idea of nurturing his passions.  When he was little, his passions were pirates, and then Thomas, and then Star Wars… easy.  Now that he’s going on 14, his passions are fewer, more private, and harder to facilitate.  But one that we recently discovered was flying.  Our local middle school hosts an extracurricular flying program.  You have to apply to get in, be in academically good standing, and be willing to devote an afternoon every week for 12 or so weeks.  There is book learning, lectures, and few field trips, all culminating in “Flight Day”.

Jacob started out interested in the science of flying, and was unsure if he’d even be all that crazy about flying an actual plane, but as his knowledge increased, he got more and more excited about the idea of going up.  Flight Day happened a few weeks ago… students flew with a certified instructor in groups of two.  The pilot takes off and lands, but the students did all the in-between flying.  They went from our tiny local airport to another tiny local airport about 40 miles away, flying over the middle school in between.  After landing, they switched students so that the other one could fly back home.  I, of course, was there with camera in hand!


Pre-flight… slightly nervous smile.


At the controls.




Coming in for the landing!


So proud of himself!

Jacob’s first words upon exiting the plane and hugging his very relieved mother were, “I want to take private lessons.”  So – we’ve found another passion that we can start to nurture and see where it goes.  I don’t think it necessarily means that he’ll end up being a pilot any more than I thought his love of Thomas would drive him to be a train conductor, but we’re excited to support him and see where it goes.  Jacob is signed up for a week-long intermediate flying camp this summer, and we’ll be looking into private lessons after that if he’s still enamored.  We can’t wait to see where his next passion goes… up, up and away!



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