Monday, September 16, 2013

Unexpected Fun

Most of the fun activities and special treats we did this summer were all planned. I had a list of places and things I wanted to do with LB so I spent the summer trying to check things off the list. However, on this occasion we happened to be in the right place at the right time. Totally unplanned fun!

One day in mid August, LB convinced me to go to the OSU airport. Again. I was reluctant but I didn't have any other ideas for activities that day so off we went. As we were walking into the building, we walked past two men in suits. For some reason, LB thinks only pilots wear a jacket and tie. D is able to dress pretty casually at his office so I guess that is why LB associates a suit with pilots. As we were walking, LB says quite loudly, "Mommy! Look! Pilots!" The two men heard him and smiled. One of them started engaging LB and asking him about the planes LB was carrying and the planes on his shirt. LB is happy to have a conversation with almost anyone, especially if they want to talk about planes. So LB showed them his planes and told them how he is going to be a "pilot of jets" when he is older, etc. They were charmed. Then one of them hands me his business card and explains that he is with the company, Net Jets. I have only heard of them because LB and I spend so much time at the OSU airport and we often see planes owned by Net Jets taking off and landing. They are like a rental car company but for planes. And clearly, the pricing is a little different. A lot of athletes use them, like professional golfers and tennis players, as well as businesses. I looked at the card and the gentleman, Mr. Brown, was the Senior VP of Sales. I started to get a feeling we were in for something good. He told me they had a plane landing in about 30 minutes and if we were still around he would love to show LB their plane. Yes! (I didn't tell him that a typical trip is about 2 hours.) So LB and I went up to the observation tower and did our normal thing. About 30 minutes later a jet landed and I saw Mr. Brown walk out onto the runway. After it landed he looked up to the observation tower and waved us down. I hadn't said anything to LB because I didn't want to promise him something in case it didn't work out. I told him we were going out on the runway and that he was going to get to see a jet and probably go inside. His eyes got huge. We got out there and were introduced to the two actual pilots. One of them picked LB up right away and started showing him around the plane. He showed LB where he checks the oil and they looked in the engines and at the wheels. I was so excited for LB that I could hardly contain myself. I was pretty much holding back tears the entire time.

Then they let us get on the plane and LB got to sit in the cockpit. It was a tight squeeze so I didn't get any photos of him sitting in the cockpit but the other pilot let him push a lot of buttons and see them light up, which was a thrill. LB impressed him with his plane lingo as he referred to the steering wheel as the yoke. I also think LB just loved sitting in the big, leather seats and looking out onto the runway at all the other planes that were close by. The plane was gorgeous. They gave us some of the fancy Dean and Deluca snacks that they have for their passengers and then we had to go as they were flying somewhere else.

Look at that smile. Pure joy. We walked back into the terminal and headed up to the stairs to the tower. As we were going up the stairs, LB turned to me, wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "I'm so happy." I was too.

I think I got teary about the whole thing because it was just so generous. They are busy people and they took time out of their day to give a three year old a special experience. I think it's easy to get bogged down in all of the nastiness and meanness that exists in our world but this was a moment of true kindness. Don't you think we all need reminders of that every now and then? Net Jets is my new favorite company. If only I could afford their services....


  1. How wonderful!

    I bet anything that they went home that evening and had just as much fun relating their day as you did. Who wouldn't want to be the cause of such a beautiful smile?

  2. That story made me teary too! It's so easy to take just a few minutes out of our busy days to make someone else's day wonderful, and how great that these pilots did that for LB. I love the pure joy on his face. Such a sweet story!