Ready for Takeoff: Flying with My Dad


This past week, I flew to Dallas for a business trip. I am not the best flyer, but since it’s the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B in most cases, I have learned to deal with it over the years. The scariest moment for me has always been as the plane speeds down the runway and takes off.

When I was a kid, my dad had a little trick for getting me through this phase of the flight. He would say “Jenn. We have to help the plane take off, are you ready?” and as the plane would race down the runway, we would turn our arms so they were on our laps but facing up, and we would move our hands upward in a jerking motion, as if we were helping to lift the plane from below. We would sometimes even grab the armrests and pretend we were pulling them up. Anything we could to “help” the plane into the air.

You are going to laugh, but whenever I can, I still do this (Bryan will vouch for that). When I can’t, the thought of it makes me smile, and distracts me enough to get me through the takeoff.

This is a memory I cherish because any time I fly, I think of my dad, and the weird habit he gave me to get through takeoff.

Do you have any superstitions or acts that help you get through stressful times that you learned from your parents? I would love to hear your nostalgic moments in the thoughts below.

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6 Responses to “Ready for Takeoff: Flying with My Dad”

  1. Andy says:

    I learned from my mom to take your loved ones bad dreams seriously. Make big deal of hugging them and telling them everything is ok. Don’t write them off as just a dream. Luckily Kaylene takes my bad dreams seriously and will hug me and kiss me even if i wake her up at 2:30am from a dead sleep.

  2. thewildernessgirls says:

    Andy – that is really sweet! Thanks for sharing. :) #Jenny

  3. What an adorable idea! I used to be not so good with flying (even though I *love* airports…go figure!), but I’m getting better, and I can even sit in the window seat without freaking out haha

  4. thewildernessgirls says:

    Amanda – I am the same way – great with airports, not so great with the flying. I am ok with landing versus taking off. And I have to be careful in doing this if Bryan isn’t right there as I worry someone seeing me do that without context might have me arrested by the Air Marshal. 😉 #Jenny

  5. Taking off makes me a little nervous too. I think for a moment it just seems so impossible that this huge thing will be able to get off the ground. I’ll have to remember your trick!

    As for superstitions, I still wish on my birthday candles. And I won’t tell anyone what my wish is, because, you know, bad luck. 😉

  6. thewildernessgirls says:

    Stephanie – I do the birthday candle thing too! I think it’s nice to keep some of those magical traditions that we had as kids as adults. #Jenny

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