Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Air Traffic Control

Hello friends and family,

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  As cheesy as that sounds I keep that nugget of wisdom in my thought process as I make decisions.

Kendra had plans to see a so-called friend who turned out to be not so good of a friend because of hurtful words instead of speaking life into Kendra.  There are very few things I dislike more than  someone hurting Kendra or Easton or Layla.  As a show of support and a chance to take advantage of an available evening I scheduled a neighborhood baby sitter for the twins and we went out for a gourmet dinner.  I chose one of Uncle Dave's favorite Italian restaurants because of the fond memories and we even ate Tiramisu, his favorite dessert.

The part I enjoyed even more than not having to tell someone "please eat your food" is giving Kendra my full attention in conversation.  What a breath of fresh air to sit for 90 minutes and be served.  It was worth every penny of the unscheduled expense and $20 for the baby sitter.  How much is Kendra's happiness worth?  A lot more than that.

After weeks of playing phone tag and busyness I finally nailed down a date for a tour of the control tower of a local Municipal Airport.  The last time I took only Easton to watch the planes fly, but for this trip I included Layla also.   I took a (really) long lunch from the middle of my work day and we had a great time.

The experience started with lunch on the outdoor patio of the Hangar Cafe, which sits directly on the tarmac.  We conversed with two pilots who started up their biplanes about 10 feet away from our table.

We climbed flights of steps up into the control tower, the tallest structure in town.  We met the air traffic controllers and spent 35 minutes seeing the flight patterns and watching them work.  Easton sat on shoulders so he could look down on the runway.  I could barely get him down because he was having such a great time.  Layla was happy to be there and very impressed.   However, I made the mistake of telling her she could get her picture taken while sitting in airplane once we finished the tower tour.  She begged me for the tour to be over so she could sit in a real plane.

As we walked across the tarmac I took a second to get a self-portrait.  I know the picture is poor quality, but trying to get two kids, my big head, and a flight tower all in a self-portrait was asking a lot.

The record heat was starting to set in as we took the really long walk across the pavement to the hangar where the several planes were.  An elderly pilot took an interest in Easton and Layla (big shocker) because of their friendly demeanor.  Layla burst out saying, "Can we get a picture in one of the planes?"  the pilot said, "sure!  You pick.  Any one you want."  Layla chose this one so I helped them climb inside.

They each grabbed the yoke between their legs and wrenched it back and forth in tandem.  The tail rudder lurched up and down, but since they were inside the cockpit they had no idea what was moving as a result of their actions.  I removed Easton and turned him to see the tail and he made the connection between Layla's motion with the yoke and the tail rudder movement.  Talk about light bulbs going off...

Then Easton wanted to choose a plane.  Of course I was more than happy to keep things fair so he picked this blue biplane.  The pilot flipped a switch to light up the dashboard.  I had to physically hold Easton's hands because he wanted to touch every knob and gauge.

Both of them wanted to stay at the airport longer, but unfortunately it's not an amusement park.  I just made it into a fun experience so they would enjoy it.  :)  Mission accomplished.  The car ride home was filled with the usual conversation, right on queue.  The twins both said, "I wish I could be a pilot".  My response, as usual, was, "You CAN be a pilot!  You can do anything you want."  Easton thought for a moment then said, "Yeah...  I can do anything I want."

I smiled and breathed a huge sigh of success.  It's about time he started believing the truth because I've been working daily since the day he was born to convince him of this.  Of all the recent adventures, this seemingly small response was my biggest success and reward of the year so far.

See you soon!


R said...

Just catching up ... by far one of the best post of the year. Great adventure with the kids. I was kinda hoping you would adopt me and take me to the airport too. The biplane is WAY cool. BTW, would you please do me a favor and keep the clean shaven look. The goatee makes you look like a pervert . . . just saying.

The Four Webbs said...

Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you liked it. You've mistaken laziness and lack of desire to shave with a goatee. I shaved though and appreciate the unbiased advice of a friend! I'll keep the electric razor closer so i don't give off the wrong vibes. :)