Friday, June 28, 2013
"The landing strip is in sight, son, and you have the controls. You're clear to land." Our youngest son watched his two older siblings on their 18th birthdays as they touched down into adulthood; today it's his turn to move from the co-pilot's seat to the pilot's chair. My wife and I are so proud of him.
I learned long ago that teaching your children to fly is perhaps the greatest thrill a parent can have. I like airplane stories because we can all relate to the similarities. When a child sits in front of the controls for the first time, everything appears so overwhelming. There are times when the plane stalls or when there is a malfunction. I often taught our children, "Keep your eyes on the runway. Set goals. Learn how to use all the talents you were born with. When the plane lands on your 18th birthday, it will be time for mom and dad to get out and let you fly solo." That day has arrived. Happy birthday, son. Congratulations -- you've earned your wings. We love you!
Our oldest son joked, "Well, my 18th birthday was more of a touch and go... at least I found the runway."
My wife and I are entering a new era. We no longer have minor children. Our babies are all adults now. Our prayer for them is that they keep in touch with the control tower and that they're never afraid to soar to new heights. Some day it will be their turn to teach their own children to fly. Before they blink, they will be saying, "it's time for your final approach, you're clear to land." And they will know first-hand what a joy it is to be a parent.
What analogies did your parents use with you when you were growing up? Please share your memories in the comments section below.