Tuesday, January 1, 2019

All I Want for Christmas - Not This!

It was early last spring. My daughter and I were driving through King of Prussia, Pa, headed for lunch at Bahama Breeze when I noticed a tall building with the words iFly printed on it.


“I always wanted to jump from an airplane,” I said. “Your dad went to Paratrooper training when you were little and I took you, your brother, and sister to watch him make his first jump. God, I was so jealous.”

“You were?”

“Yes.”

Jessi was silent for a moment and then, “Let’s do it!”

Wait? What? NO! I was only kidding, were the words that were stuck in my throat.

“Not from an airplane,” Jessi said, clearly delighted with herself. “Here. At iFly,” which I later learned meant jumping from an indoor tower where there are fans blowing to keep you up. (Fans?!?!)

Oh God! Whose brilliant idea was this?

I demurred.

“No, let’s do it! On your birthday! We’ll do it then!”

When summer arrived, I kept my mouth shut. I never mentioned it again. My birthday came and went with nary a mention of foolish ideas. I began to breathe better. I began to smile again.

And then for Christmas, my daughter handed me an envelope. “Open this one last,” she said.

“Okay,” I said. In it was a gift certificate to iFly! My reaction was violent. I slammed the card shut. “Oh no, not this!” I cried.

My daughter was stunned. “I thought you wanted this. I got one, too.”

I looked at my son-in-law. “Did you get one?”

He shook his head.

Oh God, I thought. “Will you at least go with us? You can pick up the pieces.”

…to be continued – (I hope!)