|Z was too shy to be in the picture.|
I will always cherish that particular memory partly because of its simplicity. Don't you just love organic moments like that?
Almost six years later (wow, has it been that long ago?) since that fire station tour, we had another lovely post-lunch surprise with the kids. In late July, I decided to treat them to a lunch at our local private airport. The restaurant food is mediocre, but I remember eating there as a child and watching the little airplanes taxi around and take off. Plus, they have a duck pond, and we all love ducks.
After finishing up our baskets of chicken strips and fries, we were a bit disappointed that flight traffic had been very low that day. We had only seen two small planes taxi past our window. It was a sunny day. Why weren't more hobbiests taking the day off from work to fly their planes? Why weren't more private jets returning from vacations? Then a gentleman approached our table, obviously noting my boys' better-than-usual polite behavior during lunch, and asked if we'd like to tour a plane. YES! All school-aged boys love airplanes, right? Mine always have. We walked outside where he had to get special permission to enter the runway area, and he took us to a small single-engine plane that is used for flight lessons. I didn't have my camera during this outing, but I quickly pulled out my smart phone. The man was a pilot for United who also flew private planes for fun. He answered our questions and quizzed the boys about how a plane is able to take off and land. When he saw my phone, he even offered to take a group picture. I loved that! How often are moms left out of group pictures because we are responsible for the photographing? Sometimes I worry that my children will have no memory of me before my face is full of wrinkles and my hair is solid gray.
A couple other men who were watching us, came up and asked, "Hey, why don't you let them hop in the plane?" He answered by opening the door and inviting the children to climb inside. He let them fidget with the steering and examine the controls up close while I, of course, snapped more pictures.
We thanked him as we left and went to watch the ducks for a while. It was another lovely post-lunch-totally-unplanned-free-but-spectacular outing made by the kindness of a stranger.
You can find me at these parties!