Dear Z,

Yesterday I did something that I wasn't sure I wanted to do. Something that I was worried was dangerous and wrong for a Mommy to do.

I went up flying with Daddy.

He hasn't gotten his license yet, so his instructor came too. It was a "cross country" flight so he stayed up late the night before looking at charts and maps, calculating every trajectory over the hills and freeways that crisscross southern California. What it really meant was that we went to San Diego for some sub-par Mexican food at the airport restaurant and then came right back.

I've been in small planes a fair amount and I've always enjoyed it. (Unless, of course, you count that time in Zambia where I was stuffed in the back of a 6 seater with cartons of eggs piled on my lap up to my chin and we tried to take off but COULDN'T because we were too heavy so we went back and left some of the eggs to TRY AGAIN.) This time was different though, because I've never given much thought to the training, ability, and level of caffeine of the pilot in command.

Z, your dad may be a born pilot. He LOVES it up there. He had so many proverbial balls in the air and he handled it all with aplomb. He was handling constant radio communications, navigating by sight and GPS, twisting all the vital doohickies and adjusting all the death defying whosamawhatsits on the dash. It was impressive to see.

There was, unfortunately a Moment. We were waiting for a 'handoff' to another control tower and we suddenly spotted a plane close by, TOO CLOSE BY. And then this rogue Daddy-and-Mommy-killer plane turned INTO OUR PATH. I could feel the anxiety of your Dad and his instructor rise but they quickly and easily navigated around it. They both said it was uncomfortably close.

I immediately thought of you. I wondered what would happen to you if our plane went down. But it didn't, and I didn't go THERE in my mind, not for too long anyway. I logically know that riding in a car on the freeway is statistically more dangerous than flying in a small plane. But flying is a new risk rather than the everyday risks I'm used to. So I still worry. Because I know that you would never forgive us if we were taken away from you. And I would never forgive myself.

I hope that one day, you read this and you think, "Mom, what's the big deal about going up with Daddy in a plane?". Because you will have gone up with him many times and felt how sure and strong and confident he is. How much he loves it. And you would never want to stop him from doing it or question why he does it.

You might even want to join in.

your Clueless But Hopeful Mama

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! Now you just need to get him to fly you to some little secluded island for a getaway.

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