Watching Planes

by | Life, Parenting

It was Father’s Day, so our usual Sunday roast plans were ditched for an evening of watching planes. Taz charged his camera and was dedicated to the task of filming take-off and landing from vantage points outside the airport. I remember the days when there might be more then one car pulled over to the side of the road, watching planes hang in the air above as they arrived and departed. Now stones have been laid on the ground, barriers put in, and it looks like an organised car park, especially since there were 10 or more families parked and enjoying the view. And those are just the lesser known vantage points! The most well-known now has an extended car park and a regular snacks truck (mmmmmm jam doughnuts and choc-dipped soft-serve, ahh the memories). Around there is like a carnival these days, with more people and cars than I can count, and children of all ages.
I had once been to these places with my father. This was something Charlie Brown and I have in common. Our fathers took us there to watch planes when we were kids. Most of my memories were of the inside of the airport, as our dad always took us inside, to look from the organised vantage points within the terminal. He bought us Yes & No books (a book with activities and a non-marking pen which revealed the answers we chose), and we enjoyed time as a family. As my brother put it, our heading to the airport was “a fitting tribute” to dad, who can’t get out there with us these days. We built a lot of great memories with dad, and I have to wonder if perhaps we crossed paths with Charlie and his dad all those years ago. Surely we must have. We went pretty often, as did they. So that made the airport a fabulous place of fun and good memories for us. Airport memories which we built on together, then with our children from their early life.
Taz was introduced young, and experienced a torn relationship, as he feared the noise, but loved seeing each plane. He doesn’t care how loud they are now. He just perches right at the end of the runway, and sets up for a great shot of each plane coming in to land or speeding up to take-off.
Chip gets his thrill by chasing it, knowing he can’t keep up, but running anyway as it zooms overhead. Dale seems to be a bit nonchalant about it all, but when asked what his favourite part of the day was, he names plane-watching without hesitation. Even though I wasn’t feeling too well myself, I felt the great bonding experience it was for our family. We are all happy there. We all feel the calm, and enjoy the immense size of these flying machines, and the thrill of the jet engine buzz. Its one of those times I feel like I’m just part of a typical family. It’s a happy place for all of us, therefore a top notch Father’s Day activity.

Where does your family love to go? Is there a place where you have multi-generational memories?

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