When I was younger skydiving was something seriously on my want-to-do-list. The older I got, the more that moved further and further down on my list. Then after having kids there is now no way, no matter how safe of a guarantee I can get, that I can jump out of a plane. So when the Oklahoma City Moms Blog had some vouchers to try out indoor skydiving at iFLY in Oklahoma City, I was excited to fulfill a long given up dream. The focus of my energy though quickly changed from being about me to being about my little guy.
My son, who is a few months shy of turning 5, has struggled with sensory issues. So it probably sounds weird when I tell you that when my husband wasn’t able to join me in flying, my son took his spot.
Everyday things that are probably not given a second thought by most people used to be extremely overwhelming, and sometimes still is, for my son. He has made massive progress recently though. Things that would cause him to be inconsolable before, he tries and does now with little to no issue.
Noise is what he is most sensitive to. When my son wanted to fly in my husband’s place we told him over and over that it would be very noisy. My husband and I knew our son would want to try but were uncertain of if he actually would. Since our son continues to grow and surprise us we decided we didn’t want to prevent giving him the chance to try.
When we got to iFLY we were able to see the end of the session of the group before us flying. Man, that got my son pumped! He couldn’t watch sitting down. He kept jumping up in excitement.
He took a deep breathe and accepted the Superman jumpsuit he was given with big, shocked eyes. Then after our prep class we took our seats on the benches outside of the wind tunnel and waited. As the other flyers went before us he stood in place, throwing his arms in the air practicing his flying form.
When it was his turn he went to the entrance fearlessly. The instructor helped into the wind tunnel where my son flew for a good 2 seconds before turning from his stomach to his back and attempted to get out. The instructor cradled my son and tried to ease him back into position. My son was finished though.
I was so concentrated on him going that I forgot I was next. My heart started to pound inside of my chest. I jumped in. I flew! It was exhilarating. Truly.
For this package at iFLY we got 2 flights. As soon as I stepped out of the tunnel I was already concentrating on my son, wondering if he would want to try again.
As the people in front of us went on their second flights my son started to stand up and get closer and closer to the entrance of the wind tunnel. He was still curious. The guy operating the wind tunnel noticed. Without asking or explaining he turned off the wind machine and signaled to the instructor inside.
My son was still timid and scared, but nobody rushed him. They let him take his time and enter the windless tunnel. They let him walk around inside to check it out. When my son stepped out the entire place applauded him.
My son didn’t want to go on his second flight, but I in no way consider this a failure. A short time ago my little guy could barely leave the house without becoming distraught. How BRAVE of him to try this! How BRAVE of him to go back and investigate what had scared him!
He was satisfied too. In the car ride back home he talked about how he had flown. I even heard him talking about it in his sleep later that night. I could not be more proud.
I did not tell anybody at iFLY anything about ourselves prior to going. The staff reacted to the situation with patience and kindness all on their own. There were also about 3 other kids in our fly class that were several years older than my son who flew. While I do think this would be a great place for a date or girls night or company event, it gets my full on mom stamp of approval.