“Why am I absent?”

The full quote is, “Why am I absent? Am I sick or something?” This was my 6 year old. We pulled him out of school at 2 p.m. today for his final birthday surprise. The only reason it happened is because it wasn’t too expensive and daddy volunteered to give me the money to pay for it. It was actually for daddy and Caiden. We thought it would be $59 per person but it turned out it was $52 for three people – which means Brendan got to go as well!

And so, starting with my son being thoroughly confused as to why he was being pulled out of school early, we all headed over to the place of his last present. The only one who really didn’t know what was going on was Caiden. It was amazing to see his face when he did finally figure out that he was going in a plane!

Meeting Bob and proceeding to talk his ear off.

Yes, we arranged to have my son go into a Cessna 172 for his last present. They offer “Discovery Flights” that last an hour and give an idea of what it would be like to learn how to fly a plane. Little did I know that all three of them would be going up for an hour. They were in the air for 30 minutes; the first 30 minutes, the pilot/instructor, Bob, was showing my son how to do a pre-flight check. As I watched my son during the pre-flight check, I was extremely proud of him for listening, paying attention and only occasionally popping off with a silly (by my standards) question or comment.

He didn’t necessarily care about the preflight checklist, but he did enjoy talking about the plane with Bob. The questions were cute and we did get video of it (the Nanny was running the video camera for me).

Gotta make sure it is moving the way it should and here’s the bolt that holds it all together.

So, they have to be flat to go straight?

Testing the engine before takeoff.

And we’re in the air! What is he looking at? Check this out!

How cool is that!? I wish I could have heard his voice when he was seeing this. Next time, it’s me or a video camera. From what daddy said, he never stopped talking and… get this… the pilot let my son fly! Turn left, turn right, all of what needed doing! Of course, daddy was a little green around the gills when they landed. He said that Caiden did not turn left or right softly in the beginning – it was all sudden and sharp turns. Later on, right before they landed, he was doing very good and was complimented a hundred times by the pilot/instructor. Daddy said that, quite a few times, Bob let go of the stick and let Caiden fly alone for at least a few seconds, each time and daddy swears he has had several heart attacks, at this point.

Look at that boy! That’s a future pilot, right there. I can see we’ll have to set aside a few dollars every month to make sure this interest grows – and the knowledge with it. It’s $52. We can afford that once a month!

While looking at this picture, daddy said, “See how steep a turn that is? I nearly peed myself and almost fell on Brendan! If the seat belt hadn’t held me in, I probably would have. Caiden was flying! The pilot wasn’t holding on to the stick at all!”

Not to be forgotten is Brendan. Daddy says he was very calm and collected the entire time. I reminded him that we do not have scared children – we’ve taught them to trust that we wouldn’t get hurt, so I’m quite sure, nothing really fazes them. He didn’t get sick, either, even though the pilot gave him a “sick bag” to hold on to.

Daddy just corrected me and said, “Actually, they gave it to daddy and they gave it to the right person. I almost had to use it with Caiden flying.”

Touchdown! Safe and sound. One thing I forgot to mention was what I told daddy before they took off (I think Bob heard me. I hope he heard me): “You’re taking both my babies. Bring them both back! I can’t make any more!”

Quote: “Woah! That was so cool! Can I live here, mom? I promise to come see you when you want me to.”

Yeah, I think we’ll have to set aside money to do this once a month – and future pilot lessons.

If you look, you’ll see Brendan high-tailing it inside the hanger. He just took off. I’m not quite sure, since he didn’t act scared and didn’t say he was scared. He is 4, however. I’m sure he’ll be ok – and maybe not just putting on a front in front of his brother and daddy. He has always been my empathetic child, so I can see him being a little nervous but not wanting to show it.

Walking out the front door, the boys found a hill and turned into my little people again – rolling down the hill and reacquainting themselves with Planet Earth.

A great adventure for everyone. I think Jen is a little jealous. She’s 24 and has never flown and my son is 6 (and 4) and has actually piloted a plane! I’m quite sure we’ll find the money to take her up one of these times – no big deal. At $52, I don’t see a huge problem with this becoming a “cheap” adventure for the family. Of course, I’m looking forward to developing Caiden’s interests in planes and pushing him towards being a pilot in the Navy – which was my goal when I joined.

At first, it was a train conductor. Now, I believe it’s pilot. He’s 6. I’m quite sure it’ll change again and again but I see no problem indulging my child in his experience of life, the United States and Planet Earth.

Categories: Family, Military, Trips | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on ““Why am I absent?”

  1. Awesome! such memories in the making 🙂

  2. Pamela

    I remember my first flight with my father! It instilled in me a lifelong love of flight.
    I hope your son(s) love it as well.

    Flying lessons are expensive!

    Lovely day for all!

    • Hi! For him to get his license, it’s a total of roughly 4 grand. That may change by the time he gets to 16 so maybe I should do it while it is cheap. 😉

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