Every morning LB asks me the same question and before I can answer he states his opinion. He usually asks within 15 minutes or so of being awake. It goes something like this.
LB: "Mommy, where are we going today?"
Me: "Ummm." (Because I have been awake for 15 minutes and have maybe had 1 sip of coffee."
LB: "Let's go to the tiny airport." (He refers to the OSU airport as the "tiny airport" and the Columbus airport is the "big airport." He keeps things simple.)
Every morning. This is not an exaggeration. He is 100% obsessed. I love that he has a passion and something that brings him so much joy but it does get old. But there is no denying that it is his happy place. They have converted their old control tower to a great little room with a table and chairs so the general public can come and watch planes take off and land. You get a perfect view of the runway and LB brings several of his little toy planes and lines them up on the ledge of the window. They have a little cabinet with some brochures and LB sits there content as can be. Unless it's a slow day and then he incessantly asks, "Where are the jets?" "Is that one taking off?" Several of the workers there know him by name and know that he loves the private jets, as opposed to the smaller prop planes that are used for flight lessons. So whenever they see him they check their computers to see what's coming and going. D even found an app that lets us see what's on the schedule to take off and land. It seems that not everything makes it on to the schedule but it's a good indicator if it's going to be quiet or busy. We have been there more times than I can count this summer and he's gotten to do some pretty cool stuff.
Earlier in the summer, there was an event hosted by the boy scouts for kids ages 7 - 12. We went. Because LB totally passes for 7. They were letting the kids take rides in the smaller propeller planes. We knew LB wouldn't get to do that but we did get to go in the hangar, which was a treat for LB. D took LB right to the edge of the hangar so LB got a great view of the runway and the planes they were using. One of the OSU flight students noticed LB's excitement and asked him if he wanted to sit in one of the planes they had on display in the hangar. Very sweet. LB was thrilled.
My mom took him to the airport when she was visiting in June and sweet talked her way into one of the hangars. LB made friends that day with a high school kid who is learning to fly. We've seen him there a few times since and LB always gets excited. LB got to check out the cock pit that day as well. (Same shirt. Different visit. I promise. I just really like that shirt.)
I have a billion pictures of LB either sitting on the cabinet or standing by the ledge in the tower. Look a these two photos and then envision that times a billion taking up space on my phone.
At some point in June, we were at the "tiny airport" and bumped into D's good friend from high school, who gradated from the OSU flight school. He had his younger cousin with him and was going to show him around so we got to tag along. LB got to go on the part of the runway where they keep some of the propeller planes parked and sit in them. I didn't take any pictures because I was too worried about him actually running towards the runway. Then we got to go in one of the corporate hangars and see a bunch of super fancy jets. (No pictures allowed in there.) I was afraid I was never going to get him out of there. LB loves planes that have the wings that turn up at the end. He calls them "flat wings" which is a little weird since they aren't flat. But whatever. So he was "teaching" the guy from the flight school about the "flat wings." (I was not at all embarrassed.) But the flight student then gave LB the run down on why some planes have wings like that and I wish I could have taken a picture of LB staring at him so intently and in awe. LB then came home that night and explained to D that the "flat wings" help keep the air from pushing on the wings and they go faster. I was impressed. He may not listen very well at soccer but when it comes to planes he listens.
When my mom was visiting she helped LB line up all his toy planes and took this great picture of him. It's one of my current favorites.
We've accumulated a few magazines from the "tiny airport" that the ladies there have given LB and he'll sit and look through them so seriously and intently. He talks about the one he likes and wants and whether or not he can carry them. The answer to that is always "no."
He says when he is bigger he wants to be a pilot. Who knows. He's three. But I love that it makes him so happy and that we have a place that is 10 minutes from our house that he hopes to go to every day. Well, maybe I wish he didn't ask every day.