Day with DAAAAAAAAD!

Over a month now since I’ve posted. Well, it’s been an incredibly busy month. But I’m at the beach for the next few days, so perhaps I’ll get to catch up.

First off, two weeks ago I had my Day with Dad with my daughter Kate. Day with Dad is a tradition that I have with my kids – something that we’ve been doing for fifteen years now. Once a year, usually in the summer, I spend one day with each kid, individually, doing something appropriate to that child. It’s a great way for me to spend quality one-on-one time with each of my children (something that can be a challenge when you have three), and we’ve generated some great memories over the years. I strongly recommend it to any parents, especially if you have more than one child.

There’s definitely been trends with the different kids. I’ve spent many Days-with-Andy traipsing over Civil War battlefields, including that notable wade across Antietam Creek. (We wanted to see if the Union troops could have just forded near Burnside Bridge instead of charging across into deadly fire. I don’t know if the troops could have done it, but Andy and I had no trouble.) Diana has often meant the Pet Farm and climbing the rocks at Great Falls. Kate’s day has often included the Baltimore Aquarium.

This year with Kate, we did something special. We tried Skydiving.

We went to Skydive Virginia in Louisa, about 1.5 hours south of the beltway. It’s a sleepy little airfield where they spend each weekend shuttling people up into the sky and dumping them out.

First timers do a tandem dive, which means that you are tethered to an instructor. You spend an hour in classroom training (which mostly consists of the instructor telling you all the ways that you might die) and then squeeze into a small plane with ten other skydivers and no seats. You jump out at 12,000 feet (two miles straight up!), spend a minute free-falling down to 6,000 feet, pull the ripcord, and then spend the next ten minutes floating to the ground.

I’m not sure what to say, except wow.

Here’s me:

joe.jpg

And here’s Kate:

kate.jpg

If you ever get the chance, and you don’t have fear of heights, and you don’t have claustrophobia (because the plane gets really crowded), then give it a try. The minute of freefall goes faster than you can possibly imagine, but it’s incredible.

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