everyday homeschooling blog


Jun 25, 2014

The Pilot & The Passengers, Part 1

MaryAnn Gaver

I grew up in the sprawling Maryland suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., and as a pilot's daughter, we spent many Saturdays flying. I still think that my dad wanted to give my mom a much needed break on Saturday mornings, and that's why he faithfully loaded all five of us kids into the endlessly long Dodge station wagon for an entire morning of flying and hanging out at the airport.

 I liked going to Montgomery Airport—a bustling sort of place with its sleek runways and bright, beautiful planes. But on this particular Saturday, Dad drove us instead to Davis Field, with its out-of- the-way location—an airport that was anything but energetic. 

As my dad pushed open the rickety screen door of that make-shift terminal that sunny morning at the air field, he lovingly looked back at his five children. Just then, I remember sensing that I was indeed in good hands—that my father, the consummate pilot in command, would always lead the way for all of us, and would see us through every flight.

 Still, as I looked around the place, and sniffed that faint smell of gasoline, I held tight to my big brother's hand... 

The thing I remember most about Davis Airport was the airport manager (Ms.P)—a cantankerous, ornery woman, who, with hands on her hips, peered down at us with one raised eyebrow, and that eagle-eyed stare. I remember wondering how she could contort her face like that!

When I look back, I realize Ms. P's concern. Okay, so the black pavement outside the door led right into the tarmac and short runway. Okay, so it felt like you could walk out of that screen door and come practically face to face with a spinning propeller. But I wondered why she wore that constant scowl on her face...

I didn't like waiting in that  15 x 15 foot "terminal"—a little office with a big, brown desk in one corner and an old coke machine in the other. And now here we were—my brother, twin sister and I—stuck inside while the other two sisters flew with dad.

As a dutiful big brother, Billy handed my twin and I an ice-cold coke in a thick green bottle to share while we waited. We were happy to share the soda. We waited. And waited.

With each of our noses pressed to the window screen, we peered out to the runway, and dismissed our fears that the Stinson had made a forced landing in some field, or even worse had crashed or something. Billy, who usually tried to comfort us twins, suggested that Dad might taken the siblings to the beach—and how unfair that would be to leave us stranded here!

It seemed like hours before we saw that old Stinson N97316 gently touch down in front of the ramshackle terminal. "Hooray," I thought to myself, " Now, it's our turn to fly with Dad!"

..I'll finish the rest of the story in my next post, but first, I'd like to share with you how this is such a powerful image to me, and how it reminds me of homeschooling. Just like when I looked out that window in Laytonsville, MD that bright morning and wondered, "Will my dad show up for me? Will he be here to take me on the journey I've been waiting for?"—in homeschooling, I struggled with a similar question: How am I going to get through this (unbelievably big task to homeschool)?

And I'm here to once again remind all of us that when God calls us to something, He will see us through. He will show up for us.  He will enable us to do that which He has called us to doto teach our children. He hasn't brought us this far just to abandon us. He is with us!

You know, we tend to look at the scary aspects of teaching at home, and all the things against us. The villain. We ask questions: Will I be able to do this? Will my kids thrive? We fear the worst: What if we...c-c-c-crash? 

As in my girlhood days, I needed to look at the pilot (my dad) who was in charge of that plane—and how he would show up, and see to it that the journey would be a successful  one. To me, that's an excellent reminder of how God truly is in charge of every aspect of our lives, and how we can trust Him for the journey ahead.

Stay faithful in teaching! Onward!

"Through God we shall do valiantly, and it is He who will tread down our enemies." -Psalm 108:13