Letting Go

There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.

Hodding Carter

The summer before his senior year of high school, my son told me he and a friend wanted to fly to an FAA Fly-In at Yellowstone National Park. He wasn’t talking about booking a seat on United. They wanted to fly a little, two-seater, airplane across the Rocky Mountains to Yellowstone. My initial reaction was not enthusiastic. We talked about the dangers associated with flying over the Rocky Mountains. We discussed weather, microbursts, downdrafts, level of experience. 

A few weeks later, two, seventeen year old, boys took off in a small plane across the Rocky Mountains to Yellowstone. They slept under the wing of the plane. They talked to pilots who had flown in from all over the United States. All the while, enjoying the beauty of Yellowstone. My son’s friend won a pre-flight check contest, annoying some of the other participants old enough to be his grandparents.

Yes, I let him go. I decided, after we had talked it through, I couldn’t deny him a once in a life time experience. Letting go may not have been the easiest thing, but it was the right thing.

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