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The blue skies above Georgia

POSTED: August 27, 2014 10:40 a.m.

I pulled out my laptop as soon as I was able Wednesday to write my column for Sunday's paper, from my seat on a plane bound for Denver.

I love flying, and I love the chance it gives me to focus on one task, whether that's writing a column or reading a book, something I never seem to have much time for at home.

But this flight is special for a much different reason: It's my son's first flight that he has truly been able to enjoy.

And by enjoy, I mean I don't know if I've ever seen my nearly-3-year-old any happier. It actually started when he woke up as we were getting ready to park the car at the airport parking lot. He started to see and hear planes taking off and landing, and he got that big grin I love so much.

He even seemed to enjoy the bus ride from the park-and-ride lot over to the terminal.

Now, before I go through an entire recap of my son's airport experience up until now, I should mention that he's already quite a jet-set kid, as I was when I was young as well.

William flew for the first time when he was only a few months old, and has already been on a number of plane trips, both to Denver and Indianapolis to see family.

I grew up similar to William, as in both cases my immediate family lived far away from extended family, necessitating at least yearly plane trips. When I was very young and living in upstate New York, we flew west to see my great grandfather in Wyoming. Growing up in Colorado, we flew east to see relatives in New England, North Carolina and Indiana.

So, like William, I quickly developed a love for flying, which I still have to this day. I love wandering down a concourse and catching a glimpse of planes embarking for all over, from Jacksonville to New York to California. And I love getting the newspaper from every airport I visit (and even getting the AJC when embarking and returning).

I can tell my son is on the same track judging by how excited he was once we started seeing planes.

Once we were through security (always my least favorite part as I always seem to have the hardest time getting my shoes back on while streams of people practically run me over on their way to the train) he was able to experience the Hartsfield Jackson train. He loves trains, so he was happy.

At the concourse he finally had a chance to look out the window and see all the planes, and then I believed at the time that he couldn't have been happier. He watched the airport workers deliver supplies to planes on the tarmac, and shrieked with joy when our Frontier Jet -- complete with a fawn painted on the tail -- showed up.

But the best part (and I say this still early in the flight, so there may be more excitement to come) was the take off. He loved looking out of the window -- of course he got the window seat -- and saying high to the pilots. But, when the plane began to move and taxi onto the runway, his face turned to wide-eyed, mouth-agape awe and excitement. That look continued as the engines turned on full bore and we sped up down the runway, culminating in our lifting off into the skies.

I'm sure there will be plenty more fun memories from the trip, as we are after all going to see plenty of family and even throw my son an early 3rd birthday party.

Heck, for a lot of the people the flight is more of a neccessary evil to get over with on the way to their destination.

But I've always been one to enjoy the ride, the road trip and the journey, and I'm thrilled that my excitement has rubbed off onto my son.

And hey, he's always got the flight back to look forward to.



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