My youngest (of 14 children) just turned 19. She graduated from high school this past June – a few days after she got her private pilot’s license!
Reflecting on this, I thought I would write a few posts on things I’m glad I did while raising my kids…..
#1- Let them explore their passions. Make opportunities to allow them to learn what they’re interested in.
Kasey had a real passion for planes ever since she was very little.
We were talking one day about my dad, who was in World War II. She became interested in learning about the places ‘Gramp’ had been on his ship the Teton in the navy. He was a signal man.
We started reading about the Battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, etc. Then, in the course of shopping, Kasey started noticing men in stores wearing their World War II caps. She asked me to go up to them and thank them. We began approaching them, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service.
It was out of my comfort zone at first, but we soon found it meant so much to them to have a young person be interested in their experiences and grateful for them. Often we’d ask what branch of the service they’d been in, where they had fought or been stationed. We’d make an appointment to go visit them later. Then we’d go home and read about where they said they had been so we could ask more intelligent questions. Kasey made a glider out of PVC pipes and canvas after hearing of one vet who rode the gliders into Normandy. It was a bit too heavy- didn’t work very well, but she learned from that.
Boy, did we ever learn a lot of history from these men and developed some incredible friendships in the process. One of the men we became friends with was Bill Overstreet who had been an ace in World War II. He had flown his plane underneath the Eiffel Tower to shoot down a German Messerschmidt. He had been captured once and escaped. As we would visit, he’d share more of his experiences.