Funny how when we were teenagers we did our best to display our individuality. We were 70's and 80's children, we were evolving from our Levi's to our Jordache. Hair, big hair, became the norm and MTV offered us plenty of visuals to motivate our minds and influence our wardrobe. We were every bit "Wild and Loose", just like Morris Day and The Time said, when we weren't around our parents. But our parents gave us the room we needed to do that.
Now as parents we work to keep our children safe...and to us that often means close to us and under our wing. We choreograph their every step hoping that they never fall. If they do we swoop down and catch them before they crash. Sometimes that is the right thing to do but often times it keeps them from soaring. My mother was more than happy to allow me to fly and had no problem with letting me crash. She even let me fly solo in the dark. She knew I could do it, but she just needed me to ask for the opportunity. I remember when I made my first test flight. I went to Magic Johnson/ Dr Tucker's Basketball Camp in East Lansing, Michigan. I was 16 years old and my cousin Herb was 17 years old. My Uncle prepped us for weeks on what he expected. He had decided to give us the truck and allow us to drive ourselves. We knew the way back and forth like it was the back of our hand. We knew where we would stop for fuel and exactly what time we were to check in during the trip. We were different, responsible, and trustworthy. We were raised in Christian households and we could play ball. The best thing was that this trip was the 1st of three summers I went to East Lansing during my time in High School. I became a better basketball player but more importantly I became a better young man.
Today my son boarded a plane headed for Australia for 15 days and no matter how much I tell myself that he is still a kid. I know that he is a few short years from "stepping out of the nest and flying". This trip is just a test flight and I know that he will be back to refuel and receive maintenance. When he returns we'll go over what he saw during his reconnaissance mission and we'll share stories of the bogies (unidentified aircraft) he encountered. This mission will allow him to use all of the training we have been working on for the last 13 years. As parents, my wife and I know that he will have some failures and setbacks from this sortie, but all in all this should be a successful mission. He has been brought up "in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4)
Happy Flying and have a successful mission son!