Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fatherhood, Writing, and 'Sucking it Up'

Sometimes you have to do things you just don't like.

Editing repeatedly, for example. I hate it because I'm under this delusion I should get it right the first time.

Small planes, is another example. I hate them. But my son loves them and I promised to take him for his first flying lesson when he turned fourteen. My Ex actually made the suggestion and it was a really good one.

So a colleague of mine at work is married to a pilot. His name is Richard, but everyone calls him 'Bo' (queue the horn of the 'General Lee.')

Bo is fantastic. Seasoned pilot, stunt trained and was absolutely wonderful to my son for his first lesson. All I had to do was buy fuel and lunch for everyone.

And sit in the back of this tiny plane.

So we meet up with Bo at Fitchburg Municipal Airport. It's the type of place where you look to see if anyone is on the runway or approaching to land. Then just go.

Kind of like Boston traffic.

Anyway, we look both ways and we take off. It was a 30 minute flight to western Mass. The plane is off the ground for maybe a minute, and Bo says :"'Kay, Brendan. You have the controls."

My son--in seventh heaven--begins to fly a plane. I was never so proud and totally terrified at the same time.

I mentioned Bo was stunt trained, right?

After directing Brendan to climb toward clouds as if they were WWII Bombers that needed attacking (BTW Brendan is a natural pilot), we start talking about the NASA plane that flies in parabolas to train Astronauts.

Just for the record, the nickname of that NASA plane is 'The Vomit Comet'

Bo takes over from Brendan and proceeds to show us what a flight in 'The Vomit Comet' would be like.

To my credit, I waiting to get sick until we'd landed and I got to the bathroom. Good thing I had a toothbrush with me.

We had lunch (I had water) then proceeded to fly back to Fitchburg. On the way, Riona and Brendan begged Bo to "Do the Vomit Comet again!"

We're all home now. My son had--in his words--the best day of his life. Thanks really were great!

I only smell a little bit like throw-up.

I call it a win. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. Which means more editing this evening.


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