Flight Fright

We’ll be doing some flying this month, and I’m reminded of the first time we flew with our children.  Our four-year-old son (the middle child) was excited, because he loved planes and jets and anything that flew.  He played with planes, he drew them, he colored them.  I was excited for him, to see how thrilled he’d be in the air.  All he could talk about was the big airplane. 

The day arrived and we sat by the window at the airport, watching the planes and listening to the happy chatter of our three children…especially the middle one.  Our boarding was announced, and we followed the line out onto the tarmac of the small airport. 

We were walking toward a small prop plane, and it was very loud.  I looked around to make sure we were all together.  The middle one was running back inside the terminal. 

“Steve, get him!” 

My hubby ran and caught up to our fleeing child.  He took him by the hand, but the boy started resisting—and screaming.  We were bewildered.  Steve had to pick him up and carry the flailing, screaming child.  At the top of the metal staircase connected to the plane, our horizontal son latched his hands on one side of the plane door, and propped his feet against the other side.  It was like watching a cartoon, seeing my husband trying to get him through the door. 

We finally got him on the plane, with the other two kids in tow.  I buckled his seat belt, and he buried his head between his knees.  He couldn’t be reasoned with.  We didn’t understand. 

After a while, he figured out he was still alive, not in mortal danger, and he started perking up and enjoying the flight. 

Years later, when we were looking at photos of that trip, our middle son finally ‘fessed up about why he was so terrified of that plane.  When he was at that tender young age, he and his older brother would play with a large toy plane.  The older one would always hold up the plane, make an engine roaring sound, and drive the plane to the ground with a big “Boom!” 

Our poor middle child thought that’s what planes did.  They went “Rrrrrrrrr … BOOM!” 

Poor little guy.  Not only do we need to be attentive to our own influence on our children, but also to how siblings interact with each other.  It can be terrifying!


2 Responses to “Flight Fright”

  1. Don Jones Says:

    great mystery story. Like a cold case.15 years or so to find out the answer. Thanks for the insight. Don

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