Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mom Never Knew But She Taught Me How to Fly

All My Downs Have Been Ups by Nancy Robinson Masters, Author Interview

Nancy Robinson Masters is my special guest today. She is a pilot, inspirational speaker and the author of 42 books. Her more than 3,000 feature articles have appeared in a variety of publications. Her writing has taken her around the world including traveling with the National Science Foundation in Antarctica. She has twice been named the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the United States Air Force and became the first woman to receive the Stephen F. Austin Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Scottish Rite Masons. She has spoken to more than 300,000 students and teachers promoting the power of free people to freely read and write. 

Her most important work in life, Nancy says, is "teaching second graders in Sunday School." Grab your cap and goggles and get ready to laugh, cry, and fly high with one of today’s most inspiring women!

Admit it. There are times you wonder if you are succeeding as a mom.

Times when the last thing you want to read is another success story about a super mom whose preschoolers can pack their own day-care lunches, play the accordion, and potty train themselves while she works out every morning wearing size six spandex.

Get real. My mom was five foot in all directions. Her morning workouts involved a number three washtub and six feet of clothes line. She was one of those “because I said so” mamas who paid her way through college waiting tables in a boarding house, taught two years in a one-room school with six grade levels, then had to give up her job after she married when she became pregnant. In the early 1950s it was against state law for women to teach in public schools past the first trimester of pregnancy. I am the reason she had to trade the blackboard for the rub board.

By today’s super mom standards, my mom was a failure. She never drove a car pool. She never coached a soccer team. She never flew an airplane… But she taught me how to fly. 

Yes, you read that right. When I began taking flying lessons to get a “higher education” after high school, my flight instructor taught me how to use the controls, but my mom had already taught me how to control myself.  My flight instructor sent me out on my first solo flight with a course line drawn on a map. My mom sent me out solo with a course line she drew on my heart to guide me for life.

My flight instructor taught me to accept the consequences for the life-or-death decisions I had to make with each take off and landing, but my mom had already taught me to accept the consequences for every decision I made. Including the decision I made to steal bubble gum from the little grocery store just down the dirt road from our farm.

You can find out more about my mom’s stolen bubble gum flying lesson and others that eventually took me around the world, including traveling with the National Science Foundation on an “Operation Deepfreeze” resupply flight to Antarctica in my book, All My Downs Have Been Ups. You’ll laugh, cry, and fly high as you discover she was not a failure. Indeed, she was just like a lot of moms today - moms like you - who are the greatest success stories of our time. Moms who don’t deserve the guilt trip our present you-gotta-be-a-super-mom society says you should be. Don’t listen. Don’t let guilt trips define success for you.

My flight instructor told me there were two rules in flying I must never forget:
“Never take off till you know how to land. Never let someone who never made a take off keep you grounded.”

I am thankful my mom taught me those lessons a long time ago.

For more of her amazing books, including many children's books, visit Nancy’s Amazon’s Author Page or you may purchase autographed books by visiting her blog: Nancy Robinson Masters

Would you like a glimpse into Kindergarten or ways to save your sanity with preschoolers? The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. Both have been number 1 bestsellers on Amazon and make helpful gifts for parents and teachers.

Nancy and I would love to read your comments. 


  1. Susan, thank you so much for spotlighting such a special lady! I know you read one of her books for our first Google+ HangoutonAir and I'm so very pleased to 'meet' her.
    I've given you a much deserved award, Susan:
    And I'm looking forward to our next 'show'!

  2. Thank you so much Vivian! I am truly honored and appreciate it. Yes, another "Show Time" next week! Love the G+ Hangouts.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Nancy is truly an amazing person. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  4. I love this too. Your mom sounds amazing. I can't believe it used to be illegal to teach school while pregnant! Great post!