Building My RV-10 from My Wife's Perspective
This was written by my wife Andrea, not myself, in response to a recent discussion of building and family.
I can’t imagine building an RV10 without a spouse’s
support. It doesn’t matter if that
support is emotional, physical or financial, or some combination of the three, but
support and commitment has to be there. With
that, the build is very much possible and an incredible journey for a family.
In terms of emotional support, I was Tim’s sounding
board. He would talk to me about all the
choices for instruments, how well things went last night or about an upcoming
step. On many occasions all I could do
was listen, but I was there for him. It
meant “letting” Tim work the long hours on a weekend (and not complaining about
it), bringing us always closer to the completion. Together we stayed motivated with the dreams
of flying the kids around the country, and quick get-a-ways to fun places. We kept the kids into the project as well
with talk to fast trips to Disneyworld and
visits with Grandma and Grandpa. They tolerated the build process like
pros. What surprised me was how I did
get emotionally involved with the project.
It was slow to develop, but as each part was completed, and things began
to take shape, my excitement grew. Tim
and I joked about our “third child” with the long gestation time! The day Tim
started the engine for the first time, and of course the first flight…my eyes
were full of tears!
Physical support comes in many forms. During the entire build Tim did not mow the
lawn once!! (Tim:
Well, actually, I think I did mow at least one or two times....I
did skip snow shoveling for all but the deep snowfalls though) And we have an acre to
mow. I did help with riveting,
deburring, sanding, and what ever else Tim needed. Sometimes the viewpoint is different, I think
I helped a lot, Tim wished I could have helped more, but the end result is still
an amazing finished airplane. Physical
support from the kids’ perspective I find so rewarding!!! There are so few kids that are 5 and 7 that
realize you can build an airplane in your garage, and think it is normal! Tim never turned them away when they asked to
help, their tiny hands were great for holding rivets as Tim and I worked the
wings. Their help was always short lived
and they would be on to playing, only sometime later to ask to help again. (Tim:
Don't count on much for actual "help". It was great
company, but it slows you down instead of speeds you up, and once they
get whiny it makes it even worse. ;) ) They lived first hand and from watching
Daddy, that hard work and dedication can produce something amazing.
Financial support depends on each personal situation. For us it meant I for sure kept my job, and
we watched the spending. During the
build I don’t think we ate out at all!! But once the plane is done, and can have some good experiences... (We flew
with another couple to downtown St. Paul,
and took the courtesy car, a Jaguar to a great Italian restaurant for dinner!!) ...suddenly the sacrifice seems worth it!
During the building process, support and commitment are
crucial. The extent of the support can
vary with each family and what the family demands are at that time…either
actually helping with an 8 hour day of building, or just not complaining when
it happens. Stay focused on the long
term goal. Did I love every minute of
those 25 months of building? NO, and I know Tim did not either! But I knew I would be happy when it was done.
The last important key is communication. Tim and I talked about the airplane a lot, we
still do, and he made me feel like my opinion mattered. That helped (and helps) me accept the entire
process. And sometimes it is a simple
conversation over lunch that makes it all worth it...
We were watching the movie 16 Right
with the kids. There is a
quick clip of a little boy standing behind the fence watching airplanes take
off. Tim says to our daughters, “When I
was little I would watch planes like that and dream of flying.” Our oldest looks at Tim and says “So your
dream did come true Daddy!!” It was a
priceless moment to see Tim with tears in his eyes, answer her with a simple
So in the end we have something the entire family saw from
tiny pieces to a finished airplane. Our
goal is to have our daughters see each state in the Continental US from our
airplane. And the lessons they have
learned from our trips so far are amazing.
Our 5 year old drew a picture of the family by water. She shows it to us
and says we are by the Pacific Ocean. I ask her what state are you in by the
Pacific Ocean…Wisconsin, Oregon,
or Florida. She thought I was nuts because of course it
is Oregun! (She does pronounce it like
she lives there). At 4th of
July with the sulfur smell from the fireworks, she leans over to me and says
“Mom it smells like Yellowstone”. Those are two great happenings that show why I helped
rivet, and I can’t wait to see what the next happening is!!