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Paper Airplane

Our family recently watched a free movie on Amazon Prime called “Paper Planes.” It was family friendly, super predictable, but it was good. Earlier the same day we went to Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum. They had a table there with instructions on how to make a paper airplane. Given these two events in one day we wanted to figure out how to make a paper airplane. The kids were begging me, but I’ve never in my forty years been able to make one that has flown more than three feet. 

I’ve never been able to make a paper airplane. This is yet another area in which failure has reigned supreme in my life. I’ve tried countless times over the years, but to no avail. I’ve had a number of friends teach me their “easy” way of building one, but with no affect on my abilities. I gave up. Even in the last few years when the kids have begged me, I’ve said, “Sorry kids, Dad can’t make a paper airplane.” I then try use it as a lesson to teach them that you don’t have to know everything, a lesson that they get often from me. 

At the end of the movie the main character creates an origami plane in the shape of a hawk and wins the competition and set a new world record. He also reconciles his difficult relationship with his father. If it wasn’t so predictable it might bring a tear, but the movie did a good job of leaving you with good feelings of hopefulness. When the movie ended on this high note the kids asked once again if I can make them a paper airplane. 

Armed with my prior experience at the Armor Museum and inspired by the movie, I gave it a go. I made an airplane for Josiah that flew across the room. Then I made one for Hadassah that again was able to be thrown across the room. And yet one more for Ezekiel that was thrown across the room. Three straight paper airplanes that flew further than any other paper airplane I’d ever made. 

We didn’t stop with the three airplanes or in the living room. I made one more for myself and we went out in the back yard to have a paper airplane throwing contest, mimicking the movie. Then we went up to the deck of my bedroom and threw them from there. Running up and down the stairs for about 20 minutes throwing the planes and then retrieving them to throw them again. All the while my insides were bursting with joy and pride because I’d made paper airplanes that flew!

Since this moment I have spent plenty of time boasting to Mo that I can make paper airplanes. I keep saying that same thing: “I never thought I’d be able to do this; I’m just so excited.” She's known for a long time that I’m a little kid inside, but this is just further proof. In the last few weeks I’ve made about 100 paper airplanes. All of them able to fly! I’ll make you one too if you ask, just give me the piece of paper, because I can do it now.  

I was in the back yard last night by myself flying a paper airplane. I was trying different throwing techniques to see what got my design greater distance. When I threw it over 30 feet, I got excited and congratulated myself on my new-found skill. Again, I came inside and bragged to Mo. Every time I throw one of these creations, a huge amount of little boy joy comes to my heart, and I want to do it again and again. 

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