NewsCut Flashback: The art of raising children of the world

(Originally published on May 17, 2015)

I flew the official airplane of Team NewsCut to the Berkshires of Massachusetts on Friday to attend the wedding of my niece on Saturday.

With the ceremonies out of the way, Sunday was chance to give airplane rides to family members who were so interested, including our nieces once removed, two young girls, sharp as whips and destined for great things. Smart, inquisitive, and soaking up what’s around them.

These sorts of things don’t just happen.

Small planes tend to scare people a little bit, even people who are entirely comfortable sitting in an aluminum tube while someone else does the hard work up front.

And young girls are precious things so the more conservative side of the extended family wondered if it was such a good idea to send them skyward with the likes of their Uncle Bob. Because, what if something happened?

The situation was the perfect metaphor for what we have become as a nation — constantly fearful of the world around us.

Their mother, as wise a woman as ever was, answered their concern thus: “Absolutely. I want them to experience all that they want to experience. I don’t want them to ever be afraid to try new things.”

In two sentences, everything anybody needs to know about raising children!

The first-grader went first and loved it. The sixth-grader followed and could not contain her delight, assuring me on a bumpy day that she had a strong stomach.

You can see a lot from a small plane in ever increasing and decreasing amounts of altitude, but nothing compares with seeing your house and understanding its place in relation to things you can’t see from the ground.

Sometimes, if you try hard, you can see the future.

“Want to fly the plane?” I asked.

And, of course she did — the first time, I believe, she’s flown an airplane herself as we sailed over a few mountains where she told me that maybe someday she’d like to learn to fly. There aren’t anywhere near enough female pilots because the nation raised too many generations of women who were told there are many things they can’t do.

We climbed to see what a small cloud looks like up close, then gently descended and returned to terra firma and the arms of smiling and appreciative parents.

She was the best passenger of any age I’ve ever had.

At school tomorrow, they will likely talk about the day they made an airplane fly.

I, as you might have guessed, will talk about the parents who entrust their children to the experiences of the world and let them change us forever.

  • Rob

    IMO, this is one of your best posts ever, Bob C. Flying fun, hope for the future, sagacious perspective, girl power; it’s all there. Thanks!!

  • I love this post and am still kicking myself for not taking you up on that ride in the NewsCut plane.

    My son did a “discovery” flight out of Fleming about 18 or so years ago and got to fly the little two-seater he was in. he loved it as well.

    The smallest plane I was ever in was an Aeronca L-3. I could BARELY wedge myself behind the 23 year old pilot who kept looking back at me to make sure I wasn’t scared/puking.

    I loved it and figured he didn’t want to crash as much as I didn’t want to crash and put total trust in his abilities.

    • // in the NewsCut plane

      there’ll be another one relatively soon. As soon as I figure out how to complete it without a paycheck.

  • KariBemidji

    This is one of my favorites. Thank you again Bob. You are the very best.

  • Brian Simon

    Good stuff. I hope your passengers are indeed on the path to changing the world for the better.

  • Keith P.

    “Sometimes, if you try hard, you can see the future.”

    -wipes tear-

  • John

    My kids still refer to you as “Is that the Bob who’s plane we got to ride in” when we hear you on the radio.

    They loved it. If I can find the photos, I’ll send them to you (I may have done that already).

    edit: 2014. . . wow. I found these two. I know there are pictures of my daughter somewhere, but I haven’t tracked them down yet.

  • Jay T. Berken

    “Want to fly the plane?” I asked.

    For my golden birthday (15), my god-mother got me a 30 plane ride on a four seat prop plane. I brought my two buddies with. As we were getting into the plane, I told my buddy to get in front because I was to shy to have to talk with the pilot. As we were flying around Green Bay, the pilot asked my buddy if he wanted to take the controls. I’m still bummed that I didn’t have the courage to sit in the front.

    I give a lot of credit to your nieces. Its not only that experience, but its that mindset that sets them to new experiences ahead that will help them grow.

  • emersonpie

    That is one sweet-looking aircraft.