Photo courtesy of Ted Klapka
My father was a naval aviator when attending a memorial service for a lost comrade was unfortunately a common occurrence. I had the opportunity to learn to fly at 16 through the Civil Air Patrol. My mother recognized the risks of aviation when she married my father, but the thought of her child learning to fly in bug smashers taught by piano teachers was difficult to bear. Regardless, she didn't dampen my enthusiasm and she supportively drove me to my flight lessons as I still didn't even have a driver’s license. Typically oblivious, as male teenagers are, only much later in life did I find out how nerve wracking this moment was for her. However, she hid that from me and diligently took me and my flying buddies to the airport. I had the opportunity to witness the same in my bride when my teenage daughter was learning to fly. My wife wanted to be present for my daughters solo but couldn't bear to watch. She wore big sunglasses to hide her angst.
Thank you, Moms of aviators, you are a special breed.