Our kids are still over the moon about their “army playdate.” They couldn’t contain themselves leading up to it, telling everyone what they were going to do after school. They couldn’t wait to spend time with a real army helicopter, with a real army soldier. Somehow, the fact they were going to get some good, quality time with our close friend wasn’t at the forefront on this occasion. They knew this was an incredible opportunity, and they were ready for it!
The kids were enamored just driving onto base. They loved all the military vehicles. But they were blown away when they saw the helicopters. These weren’t just any helicopters. These were immense chinooks. I grew up seeing these fly overhead, but they are so much bigger and tank-like in person.
The boys were ready with lots of questions, and we had just the guy to tackle all of them. We were actually surprised the boys had so many questions. They even asked what his awesome wife does in the army. We loved seeing their desire to learn, and they had the perfect teacher. Gotta admit, it almost felt like we were on a date, with them so focused on the helicopter.
We didn’t expect an up-close look at the cockpit, but we actually got to sit in the seats! I couldn’t believe how many controls there were. And could only imagine pretending to know what they all do.
We had such a great time exploring a magnificent aircraft, with a great friend who just happens to be one of the very best people on this earth. It was an evening we’ll never forget. He was seriously so patient with the boys’ constant chatter, and has no idea how star struck the boys are. My youngest and oldest asked for his autograph (without even knowing that’s a thing), and my middle son wanted to order whatever he ordered for dinner. While waiting for our food, I asked my youngest if he wanted to play tic tac toe, and he said, “No, I want to play with the army man.” They held their glow sticks dearly, and we have an autograph in a watertight bag. I’ve never seen the boys admire someone so much, and they made a great choice.
I’m still in awe of what our friend and our military do, and am so grateful for them. You are all stars (heroes) in our eyes!