Sometimes my phone rings in the middle of the day and when I check caller ID, I can tell England is calling. It’s usually my Kate. It tickles me to tell you my daughter called this week to let me know, because she knew how to make a paper airplane, which flew, AND hit a target, her pub quiz team raised themselves up to sixth from last. (There were 16 teams.) In fact, her paper airplane was the only one that flew. She said some pub quiz desperadoes actually just crumpled a ball of paper and pitched it at the target. Sad.
Is making paper airplanes a lost art? Do kids make them anymore? Or is it just American? My dad used to sit at the kitchen table with the Sunday newspaper and we’d make a fleet of airplanes. He was in the US Air Force so I always figured this was a secret knowledge he was passing on…because my husband didn’t know how to make the same kind of plane. He was only familiar with the more ordinary folded plane designs. His dad was in the Navy so it stood to reason he wouldn’t be in the know. At least for airplanes.
Well I AM darn proud my daughter knew how to make a paper airplane, and whether it was me or her father (or grandfathers) who taught her how to fold and fly, she knew how to make a paper airplane! It makes my heart glad. I have lots of regrets about her growing up years. We were work obsessed parents. She was a latch key kid. I always, always, feel bad about her childhood and wish we had done better. The fact is though, she is who she is today because of and in spite of it…and she is talented, beautiful, and successful, and she knows how to make a paper airplane that flies! Atta girl!
What I want my younger friends with kids to know is that the minutes spent making paper airplanes is important, don’t discount it. It’s not enough by far, but it’s not a waste of time. Step away from the TV, the computer, your homework, the laundry. Make paper airplanes, and let them fly!
Photo illustration of paper airplane, with instructions can be found here.