As they disappeared from view I did stop to think about how we had no idea who this man was they had left with.
Their cousin said she had been offered a ride in one of the planes. Did The Goblin Child want to go with? Of course she did. I didn’t know that the offer would actually come to fruition. It did, and when it did 8 was standing there to hear. She asked if she could please go in the airplane. Of course! But only if your brother can go too. It’s the usual requirement. It didn’t occur to me until she ran off to ask that maybe one more person couldn’t fit in these tiny planes, most of them with room for no more than two people.
Apparently there was room. All three children ran off.
We followed to see them climbing into the biggest plane there. It sat four.
The fly in breakfast is an annual affair. We always try to make it. It’s fun to watch the little planes come and go. One flown by a friend of ours was bright yellow, sporty and pretty, He flew it like a sports car, buzzing our house once years ago. Old and married now, maybe he’s calmed down a bit.
We watched our children load into the plane. Talked to friends as they taxied to the grass runway. The friends told flying stories, near misses. It didn’t make me feel better.
Then the plane was off and going. It rose into the sky, then disappeared into the distance.
We stood and talked and waited. We talked some more, checked the time and waited. They had been gone for quite a while. I saw them coming in for landing and got my phone out. Turned out to be just a bird. They had been gone a long time. With a stranger whose plane we had helped load them in.
It was almost enough to make me worry.
Except we were at a fly in breakfast for a small town celebration in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Where we can still feel comfortable sending children off with a nice old man who is willing to offer his plane to introduce children to the joys of flying. Where we can trust our neighbors. Where everyone is welcome. I waited nervously because I’m a mother and my children were off in a pane. I was not worried because they were off with a stranger.
Finally the plane came back. It circled the airport, over the town, them came in to land.
Safely on the ground they climbed out of the plane. The smiles on their faces were huge. They had flown over our house, over the cousins house, over their school, over the lake. All of the sights they’re used to seeing from the ground. It all looked so different from the air. Their lives had been transformed. They’d seen everything from a whole new perspective. Did we know how small everything actually was?
After that the rest of the day paled in comparison.