The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Little Boy – Big Dreams

on June 18, 2012

My husband and youngest son spent most of Saturday at the “Airfest” being held at our small local airport.  What was intended to be a memorable father/son “dude day” may have started a new obsession at our house. Our 10-year-old has decided that he is definitely wants to be a pilot when he grows up.  Last week he was going to be a coach.  The week before an NFL player.  I think before that he thought working at the local Dairy Queen would be cool.  But all that is past. Now we are on the pilot track.  Ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you ALL about it.

The day started out very early in order to catch the pancake feed and to sign up for the free plane rides they were giving to children aged 8 – 17.  Our son had never been on a plane before: not even a commercial one.  As excitement built in our house Friday evening I reminded our usually late-sleeping son that he should probably go to bed.  Getting up in the morning is not on his list of “happy things” every day.   I should have known that this was going to have a big effect on our household when the boy was up and bouncing at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.  Or any morning.  Off they went for their day of adventure. My ever wise husband decided that it would probably be better to eat pancakes after the plane ride.  After all – the kid had never been off the ground before and has in the past showed his mother’s deep respect of heights and caution of falling from them. (I have mentioned that second story windows make me nervous, right??)  he didn’t need to worry.  From the moment the kid got into the co-pilot seat and put on his headset he was enthralled.  You wouldn’t have known that a twenty-minute plane ride at 1,000 feet would have been so life changing, but it was.  The kid hasn’t quit grinning since he got off the plane.

After their pancake breakfast they began perusing the displays and learning about all things aeronautical.  Unfortunately rain set about halfway through the exhibits, so they headed home for a lunch break.  Between bites of his hamburger, my son regaled me in the tale of his morning plane ride and how cool everything looked from the plane and how cool it was when it turned and you felt like you were on your side and how he loved it and it didn’t even make him feel sick.  He didn’t need to get nauseous. I got nauseous for him.  He talked and talked about the controls and the pilot and how they gave him a pamphlet on taking pilot lessons.  I shot my husband a look and all he did was grin at me.  “Relax Mom.  You have to be 14.”  Whew!   The sky cleared up and the boys headed back out for the afternoon show.  Our son still grinning.

Did I mention that he was still grinning when they came home four hours later.  It was a very, VERY sunburned grin, but a grin none the less. (Note to self: check to make sure your husband has the sunscreen at all times. Even when it is cloudy and rainy when they leave the house.)  I spent the evening listening about the dog fight simulation and the paratroopers who jumped out of the plane and all the planes and the history of all the planes and….well….you get the drift.  At one point of the evening I had to tell the little fellow that, while I was very, very interested in his day my ears were beginning to get tired.  He was ok with that.  He just went to the computer and started googling pictures of airplanes.

Yesterday afternoon they went back for the second day of the show and took “the sisters” with them.  And the sunscreen.  Lots and lots of sunscreen.  Because of the high winds some of the show’s acts weren’t able to perform.  Our girls were a little sad they didn’t get to see the “Golden Eagles” jump from the plane, though I’m not sure it was because they were so interested in seeing the actual jump as much as they were interested in seeing the guys who jump.  Our son however was not unhappy at all.  He was still a fountain of information of all things “airplane.”  The kid is hooked.

When I arrived home from work today I found him sitting at the computer.  Today’s Google search included aviation schools and videos of war planes. Today he is thinking perhaps he should be a fighter pilot rather than a “regular” pilot. He hasn’t learned not to say things like that in front of his mother yet.  His mother who really would like to respond, “How about an accountant.  Wouldn’t you like to be an accountant? Accountants don’t crash into mountains.”  I haven’t said a word though. I listen and smile as he tells me all about the different planes there are and about all the things you have to do to become a pilot.  He’s ten.  Plans will change.  Although it does occur to me that his older brother who is currently studying criminal justice in college started watching the show “Cops” at about that age. I figured his plans would change too.  Perhaps I should start searching for a local “bankers show” or a “Teacher Fest”. Something to attract him to a safer occupation.

Nah….Who am I to stop a little boy’s big dreams??


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