J-E-T spells Jet!

As part of our “B Week”, I took the boys down to the lake to have a picnic and look for boats. (more to come on B Week this weekend) It was a glorious day, a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds, the sparkling lake went on for miles with an occasional sailboat bobbing by in the hazy distance. We were on the last leg of our lunch, all sitting in a row on our little picnic blanket, staring out onto the peaceful water with only the sounds of the occasional runner or bicyclist behind us when all of the sudden we hear this incredibly loud noise (which is impossible to convey in “computer”, I”ll have you know) “Neeee-aaaaiirrr..Whooosh!” (that’s the best I can do:) And, startled, we look up to see this fly by:

An F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter immediately followed by another one! The second one being so loud that it threw the boys into a complete panic. They hurled themselves into my lap, one on top of the other, burying the heads and screaming, which only added to the noise! And in only a brief moment, they were gone…

Z was able to calm down, once the immediate “danger” was past, sitting up and staring at the empty blue sky in astonishment, probably plotting to fly one of those himself one day…..while S, who is terrified of loud noises, went into COMPLETE panic mode. When I say panic, I mean panic. He laid on the ground with his head in my lap clutching my arm and pressing his hands to his ears, with tears just streaming down his face. My heart completely broke over the look on his face. He was in one of those places where reasoning, especially adult reasoning, is like throwing darts at a brick wall. It doesn’t stick.

I stroked his wet face, tried to remove his stiff arms from his smashed ears and reassure him that the jet fighters were gone and it was quiet and we were safe, etc. But he would have none of it. We went from crying to S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. Screaming like I have never heard my child scream before…well, except maybe Zakkai because he has the lungs of a pterodactyl but that’s beside the point. I finally, after 10 minutes of fruitless mommy-like platitudes, had to force myself to stand up on my now-asleep legs and go sit a few feet away on the concrete steps, facing the lake. Zakkai sat down with me and S’s panic escalated until I had to get firm with him to make him stop so he didn’t get sick. I went over and stood him up and made him come sit with me and pried his hands off of his ears. He calmed down almost instantly, although he wanted to go home. We did pass the last 10 minutes of our picnic rather peaceably with Samuel hiccuping and sniffing beside me.

And since then, on that fateful Tuesday, we have heard the word “jet” approximately 43 times a day from this little 4 year old who now has a love/hate relationship with those incredibly loud, fascinating jets. We read our airplane book everyday, which has a whole section devoted to fighter jets, we built a jet out of Lego’s, he carried his airplanes out with him and on and on. He’ll say in a very chipper voice, “Mommy! Remember those jets we saw that bwoke the barrier of the sound?” and then when I smile and nod my agreement, he’ll follow with “but I don’t want to EVER see those jets AGAIN!” followed by some tears. It’s very strange.

And then he says “Mommy, J-E-T spells jet!” with a very proud look on his face! And then he scrunches that beautiful little face up and exclaims, “We are NOT going to see jets todayor ever again!!”

And that is the story of the jet and the little boy who loves, er hates? Loves and hates jets.

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