Like any imaginative kid, my boys picture themselves as movie characters. My youngest with his glasses and guile thinks he can channel the wizardry of Harry Potter. And when his other side kicks in I could swear he’s Mr. Hyde.
My oldest summons his inner Avenger and imagines he can shoot arrows like Hawkeye.
Similarly when I was around their ages, Robin Hood was my favorite archer and do-gooder, even if he was an animated fox.
As I grew older, on-screen character portrayals were replaced by an ability to memorize great movie lines. This skill lives on today with movies I haven’t seen in close to 40 years. Can you imagine how useful this memorization ability would have been if I’d extended it to something useful, like say, the periodic table?
You see, I may not be able to remember how many proteins are in Boron, but I could tell you the nickname Bill Murray gave Rudy in the 1979 comedy Meatballs.
And so it is that our latest outing of the Dads’ Bucket List crew would rekindle memories and quotes from the 1980 classic – Airplane. “Surely you can’t be serious? I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley.”
Our experience was hosted by Special K, who set up an opportunity for our posse to see what it’s like to pilot a plane. He planned a day for the kids to get behind the controls of a real flight simulator at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport.
The sim lessons were conducted by ExpressJet pilot Dave Lin, who graciously showed up in full effect early on a Sunday wearing his pilot’s suit.
Each child was able to sit in the copilot’s chair as Dave let him or her take off and land from the airport of their choosing. The kids flew from locales like Atlanta, Zurich and many places in between.
Despite different personalities and high energy levels, Dave was the steady teacher throughout. As one dad rightly pointed out, “the man has the patience of Job.” He was incredible and made sure every kid’s experience was uniquely personal.
As I watched one of my boys at the controls, I caught myself thinking, “is this something he could actually do for a career one day?”. It’s the kind of thought I expect to encounter more and more in the coming years.
Maybe one of them will become a pilot. Then again, maybe he’ll settle for being a wizard.
Whatever career they end up choosing, I’ll be sure to grab some popcorn and tune in for their premieres. Because, who knows, maybe they’ll offer a couple great lines along the way. And if so, I’m gonna do my best to remember them.
Go. See. Be. Do.
Be sure to keep up with Dads’ Bucket List by “liking” our Facebook page.