When I was an infant, my dad would take my mother and I flying in a Cherokee. They say that I would fall asleep before the wheels left the ground, and wouldn't wake up until after the engine stopped. Dad stopped flying before I was old enough to know what was going on due to money issues. We still went to local airshows growing up, and when I was old enough, they let me pay for rides at the Flying Circus in Bealeton, VA. My grandfather would hire a hot air balloon when I was younger and let the adults go for rides. I can remember going up in a tehtered balloon when I was no more than ten. What a thrill.
Growing up close to Dulles airport didn't hurt, I'm sure. For as long as I can remember, the sky above me has always been filled with aircraft, no matter where I've been. I've looked up and seen all the usual airliners, but to see the Concorde at a few thousand feet overhead is quite a thrill. I've looked up and seen P-51's, B-17's, and all manner of modern military equipment growing up.
As a teenager, I spent the occasional weekend just looking for airports, and visiting all the ununsual off the beaten path fields. Grass, gravel, ultralight, private, public. You name it, and I wanted to find it. Sometimes I'd get lucky and catch a ride, but most of the time I was just happy to be near airplanes and watch them fly.
I guess the bug bit me long before I could understand what had happened. I've had it for as long as I can remember, and no matter what circumstances have surrounded me, the bug has never waivered or weakened. I'm definitely hooked.