As I cleaned up the gear and set course through the Florida rain (yes, there too) in the climb to 28,000 ft (South west by south for the nautical minded) and turned the seat belt sign off I gave thought to my passengers, amongst whom I had noticed a dad and his small girl. Get small girls in the air early and who knows what they will imagine.
I am not a 'feminist' by any means, as anyone in the Tavern will attest, but I do think that anyone, male or female, with a good brain and a clean heart can set themselves to anything and succeed with effort and intent. Start 'em young, I say.
Like little Lainey for example. I shall tell of Lillymae in a moment or two. Just watch this little girl's expressions as her Dad takes her up for a jolly while mum stays on the ground.
Dad is full of Love for his little girl. He is right there and she knows it. But heck, that's just a short, easy, steady flight. How would she have been doing aerobatics? A Canadian found out with his little girl, Lea.
Its the adventure, you see, with a loved and trusted Dad to keep them safe and knowing they are safe. Fear is kept in check. They can 'experience'.
Now, what happens when little girls grow up a bit?
You see, Dads are not just babysitters that mum has to keep an eye on.
Dads Grow the Next Generation.
|Lillymae: Getting to be all grown up. Still young though.|
She was good. Very good. Cool as a cucumber, executing almost perfect control.
She is 11 there. The Instructor is ideal. He lets her do the task, gives good praise and correction and reads her well. He knows her limits and gets her to them and familiar with them.
In no time at all Lillymae went solo. At 14 years old. That's the legal lower age limit. Now, I ask, would you let a 14 year old drive a car? Perhaps. But a plane. With no engine?
You have to be very confident in her competence.
Lillymae was competent. And a full-on girly-girl with flowers in her hair.
Before long she had graduated to powered planes and was doing well. She went 'solo' at 16, again the legal lower limit. Her second 'first solo'.
There is no holding back a girl with such competence, skill, talent, self-control and application.
She has no need of feminism's false "empowerment". She has the power, carefully nurtured by several fine caring men.
As my friend Moira says, ....
Mum gives them roots: dad gives them wings.
Last I heard she had moved up to Alaska where she started training as an aviation mechanic. She will be a well grounded, knowledgable pilot by now.
From small beginnings, eh.
See the potential. Nurture it.
There's a drink on the bar for whenever she drops by.