Today was one of my proudest moments as a dad.
Jake was born on Christmas day, sixteen years ago, which means today is the first day he can legally fly a plane solo. The weather wasn't great this morning, so Renee and I thought he'd miss the chance to do it on his birthday. But the clouds eventually cleared (a bit!) and the wonderful people at Fremont Airport took time out of their Christmas morning to open things up just for Jake. So we headed over to the airport, along with Grandma and Grandpa, and eventually watched as Jake taxied away for the first time with an empty right seat...and took off on his own.
It was such an incredible feeling to watch him as he took off. To see him achieve a goal that he has worked so hard for was incredible.
And, surprisingly, we weren't that nervous. Jake asked Renee and I about this later in the afternoon. I didn't really think about it until then, but once I did it was clear - we weren't nervous because we know how hard he had worked for this. How well trained he was. How prepared he was. Sure, we were a *little* nervous. But our pride *far outweighed* the nerves.
Somehow, on *his* birthday, he gave *us* a gift.
What a great day.