I picked up Lucy from school yesterday and we drove to the airport to check the Dynon autopilot pitch servo against a service bulletin that has come out. Thankfully, our model was not impacted, so no action needed.
Lucy said she wanted to go flying and with a huge grin said "Since Mom isn't with us, we can do the up-downs right?" Yes! Yes we can! The tower cleared us for take-off and I looked over at Lucy and nodded at her while queuing her mic. She shouted into the mic "CLEAR FOR TAKEOFF". The lady at the tower gave us a "woo-hoo" and off we went. Outside McCollum airspace, we pulled the nose nearly straight up with a modest 2G or so load. Lucy squealed with delight and kicked her little legs with excitement. Then I pushed the nose over and we started to go weightless and she started to get very concerned and have second thoughts. I let off a bit and the conflict of fear and joy within her was fun to watch. I told her it was ok and she said it was scary but she loved it and she wants to do it again. So we did again, and again, and a bunch more times, and finally I had to tell her no more because we were almost at Pickens County airport to get fuel and we can do more 'Up Downs' on the way back.
We landed, got some fuel, and chatted with a nice guy who owned a red and white Cessna 172 on the field. Next, we went into the FBO because Lucy was hungry for a snack. Inside was a cute little dog named Bella, who was a 12-year-old terrier mix. Lucy scratched Bella's back and they both became best friends. The nice old man at the FBO who owned Bella let us have a snack on the IOU system since I didn't have any cash on me. Lucy ate peanut butter crackers as we sat on rocking chairs on the front porch of the FBO. I told Lucy while we were there rocking away and looking out at the airport and mountains that this was the good stuff of life. I know she was enjoying herself, but she couldn't fully appreciate how great an afternoon of flying and porch rocking chairs really was without the perspective of the rat race for a few decades.
We took off from Pickens and headed for home. Lucy whined that she didn't want to go back yet, but we had a ton of fun doing some more maneuvers and she got to fly us around some rain clouds that were blowing in from the West. As we were turning base to final she decided she wanted to grab the stick because she was upset we were landing and she was going to fly us more. I had to scold her severely to never touch the controls or distract the pilot when we are landing. It was a good lesson and I told her if she keeps practicing I'll let her fly more. I look forward to it immensely.