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Is This Your First Flight, Little Girl? Thoughts on Raising the Daughter of a Pilot

Is This Your First Flight, Little Girl? Thoughts on Raising the Daughter of a Pilot

My daughter was asked this question on one of the last flights we took, and I know she’s been asked it before.

“Is this your first flight, little girl?” the flight attendant asks.

“No,” Claire answers.  But she’s not sure what to say next.  She’s six and she’s still unsure in conversations with strange adults.

I jump in and say, “Her daddy is a pilot, so we fly a lot.”  As long as she can remember, it has always been that way.

Seven month old Claire at Wyoming’s Sinks Canyon State Park

What a difference from our upbringing.

Her mama’s  first flight was at age 19…  her’s was at 4 weeks old.

Until she was 21 and moving to Minnesota, her mama had 5 states under her belt… at age 6 she’s been to 21.

She’s seen both the Pacific and the Atlantic…  her daddy was 27 before he could say that.

Lucky little girl, you probably think.  And she is in the travel area!  Most kids haven’t been on a flight at age six, or they’ve been on one or two.  I value what opportunities travel has given her, and they will only grow as she does.

But there has to be balance.  When you say yes to one thing, you say no to another.  Her daddy has only been home to tuck her in two of the last thirteen nights and he rarely gets Christmas off.  He misses her baseball practices so he can try to make her games.  Maybe he’ll get to trick or treat with her, maybe not.

Parenting is a strange job.  You don’t really know if you are doing the right thing for your child.  Your only indication may be far down the road in their adulthood.  We can only do the best we can, hope for the best, and continue down the road we have chosen.  If only there were guarantees.