Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Creative solution to the paper airplane crisis

Tonight was a father / daughter activity at church. I have four daughters, and this one was just for my youngest, who is eleven. I’ve gone on a number of these activities over the years, and it is wonderful to have some one-on-one time with a single daughter.

Each of these father / daughter activities has a theme or an event. Years ago, it was around Valentine’s Day so they had a dance. At that time, three of my daughters were in the accepted age group. It was fun to have them stand on my feet while we slowed danced.

A dance wasn’t on the agenda tonight. It is June and so an outside activity was in order. Tonight we were making paper airplanes. At the end, there would be a “friendly” competition.

As a kid, I had made my fair share of paper airplanes, but I was never very good at it. My friends were always coming up with cool and unique designs that could really travel. I had a hard time keeping the folds straight.

So, as we started making the airplanes tonight, I tried—honestly tried—to create one that would fly well. I even followed some instructions the leaders had kindly printed up for us.

Then came the testing phase. It wasn’t pretty. Actually, my daughter’s plane was pretty darn awesome. Mine seemed to really love the ground more than the air. With the competition rapidly approaching, I considered my options. There was no way my paper creation was going to do well.

Then I got an idea. And it was rather clever if I do say so myself. Quickly, I made my paper creation and then got in line to watch the competition and wait for my turn.

On the ground, the leaders had measured out distance markers. Most airplanes were lucky to go eighteen or so feet. Some went longer. One father got up and let his airplane fly. And boy did it ever! It went beyond the farthest marker by a good dozen feet or so. Very impressive!

When it was my turn, I stepped to the line. Trying to ignore the people watching me, I set my feet. In one hand was the first paper airplane I had created—the one that loved the ground. But that isn’t the one I used.

Instead, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my secret weapon. I had taken a sheet of paper and crumpled it up around three small rocks to give it some weight. Without hesitating, I threw my paper airplane (to be honest, it was more of a paper meteor). It flew over all the other contestants and a good ten feet beyond the best throw.

Tada! My paper creation won!

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