I drink ginger ale when I fly. My dad first ordered it for me when I was a small child accompanying him on a quick-but-bumpy flight with him from Dallas to Albuquerque, and that became the official airplane drink for me. In fact, years later, when my husband lovingly brought home a case of the stuff for general consumption - having witnessed my ordering it on every flight - I was both awed and appalled.
Drink ginger ale? On the ground? Huh.
It’s funny how those little things stick with us into adulthood. The ginger ale tradition had been so ingrained I only recently realized Dad probably ordered the previously foreign drink in an attempt to settle a small stomach that maybe have been tumbling around from the turbulence we experienced.
The funny thing is, I remember the night time flight - a first for me. I remember which side of the plane we sat on, and I remember him describing the science behind the bumps. I remember the beverage-turned-tradition. What I don’t remember is being frightened. I don’t remember a moment of concern or worry...because I was with my dad. I know this as certainly as I know that ginger ale was made for flying.
I’m sure the drink and description were meant to soothe and maybe, being the super hero Dad he was, he picked up on nerves I couldn’t feel myself. All I know is, I was on an adventure with my dad’s arm around my shoulders and a cup of ginger ale goodness on the fold-out table in front of me. What on earth could I have feared?
So, now I’m sitting on another plane, staring at my little plastic cup filled with a familiar flavor, and I'm thinking isn’t that just like our heavenly dad? Can you look back on your days and see how he cued in to fears you might have missed yourself? Can you see how he was already protecting and preparing you for the experiences you’d have? Can you identify his generous love building traditions into your soul? I have to admit, I can.
Turns out, that kind of love sticks with you...like traditional drinks and airplane adventures.