Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letting Them Soar

Any nervousness I felt was my own fault. I'd given my husband a Christmas gift of two certificates to go soaring; he and our teen would have an adventure. I went along for the drive.

Here's how it works. The "guest" gets into a sailplane, often called a glider, along with an FAA-certified pilot. The sailplane is connected by a line to a small tow plane. The plane takes off, the sailplane follows. Soon, the pilot releases from the tow plane and free flight begins, at about 3,000 feet, with the sailplane riding on the air currents. At the end of the ride, the pilot glides the sailplane back home. Dad and teen each went up solo, with the pilot.

They found it exhilarating and exciting -- especially when the teen was able to take the controls and make some turns in the sailplane. Oh, and the views were breathtaking.

I stayed on the ground and personalized the experience -- as I tend to do. And here's my impression of the event: for the first 15 years or so, it is our job to prepare our children for the time when the tow line is dropped.

At some point we have done all we can. And then we can only wish them happy soaring.

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