Thursday, August 23, 2007


It was a day like any other day.

Last Tuesday afternoon I was inside the house just taking care of business like usual when I heard a plane overhead. Then I heard a blood-curdling scream from our little guy in the backyard. I looked out the back door and saw him run from the back fence toward the house, screaming all the way. What could be the problem? Did he get bit by a spider? Did a squirrel get too close? Did he stick his hand through the fence and get bit by our neighbor's dog? He ran toward me, crying. When I picked him up he buried his face in my chest, And then he looked up at the sky, pointed and blabbered on in his 23-month-old language. I was at first confused, but then I realized: my boy is afraid of planes.

I imagined the Japanese conducting a bomb run on Pearl Harbor. "You afraid they're going to get you, boy?" I asked as I carried him into the house.

I don't know when this started. We have had numerous planes fly over our homes during my son's young life. At our old place out in the country, planes of all sorts would fly pretty low. I don't remember him being afraid when we'd run outside to see the single engine Cessna or bi-plane buzzing the powerlines. We'd even wave and at least once got a wing dip in response. But since moving back to town, where we are closer to a nearby naval station, we get all sorts of very loud aircraft fly overhead. Perhaps that's what's scared him.

But he's not afraid of helicopters. We get plenty of those, too. When one is flying nearby, Ulie waves and yells hello. Even if he hears one from inside the house, he looks up at the ceiling, waves and hollars hello. I bought him a little toy helicopter the other day, which he loves.

At any rate, when a plane flies overhead, and if Ulie is in the backyard, like today, it's like World War II all over again around here.

I think I might have to build a air raid shelter.


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