Friday, November 16, 2007

A Boy and His Plane

My boy...My sweet, innocent boy thing...

Late September, it was a beautiful Indian summer evening, and we were enjoying the sunset on our patio, Lar and I with our beers, the kids with their juice boxes, when my boy decided to make a paper airplane out of the "note" he "wrote" to his grandma -- a get-well note, I assumed, for my mother.

Lar dutifully folded the scribbled loose leaf into a respectable approximation of a DC-10, and handed it over to the boy. The boy thanked my husband, then, solemnly, he cradled the paper plane in the crook of his little, fat arm, and noisily sucked down the last of his juice, after which he resumed doodling with his crayons. When the boy didn't attempt a test flight, I asked him why.

"Why aren't you flying your plane, Brandon?"

"I don't want to ruin it."

"Ruin it? Oh, you won't ruin it, honey. And even if it does get a little beat up, Daddy will fix it for you, no problem."

"It's a letter to Grandma."

"Yes, I know, Brandon. She's going to love it! I'll give it to her when I visit her in the hospital tomorrow."

"No, Mommy, not that grandma! It's for the grandma that makes cookies!"

Puzzled, I asked him why he wrote a note to Grandma Howe (my paternal grandmother who passed away last January) on a paper airplane.

"Because, Mommy, the airplane will fly up to heaven tonight, and Grandma will read it, and then she will make cookies for the angels."

Well, I don't have to tell you just how touched I was. Also, I was a bit surprised that all of this was going on inside his darling head. After all, my grandmother died last January, a grandmother that my son had only seen but a handful of times during his four years on earth, and her death hadn't been discussed since.

That night, after the boy went to bed, I retrieved the paper airplane from its take-off spot, a block of wood set on the patio table, and put it in my keepsake box.

The next morning, soon as my boy woke, he promptly ran out to the patio. I knew what he was looking for. I smiled to myself when he excitedly ran back into the house, shrieking about how the heaven-bound plane had reached its destination.

"Do you think Grandma Howe read my letter yet?"

Well, of course she had. And she was baking cookies even as we speak.

Adorable, right?

Get this, then: The other morning as I was readying the boy for school, he stated that he was on another letter-writing mission, only this letter would be for Nici.

He said, "I want Nici to go see Grandma Howe and make cookies with her. Would she like that, Mommy?"

My throat closed up, and I thought my heart would burst, but I managed to assure him that Nici would indeed like that. Very much so.

Flight leaves tonight.


At 7:50 AM, Anonymous janine said...

That is so sweet! I'm sitting here with a lump in my throat and I'm trying hard not to cry. You are obviously bringing up a very caring and thoughtful young man - well done :-)

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Rabbitch said...

Don't make me cry at work any more or I'll knit you something very ugly and expect you to wear it.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Well, thank you, dear Janine!

Oh, Rabbitch, you must realize by now that I'd wear a mound of cow dung on my head if plied with enough alcohol.

You do not scare me.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Simply beautiful!

At 3:19 AM, Blogger PICAdrienne said...

Oh, can't they just break your heart. My son, now 10, has been through a lot in young life. Shortly after my Step-Father died, my Mom was in the car with us, at sunset. It was a beautiful sunset, and we were all rather quiet. Suddenly young boy (then aged 6) piped up, Grandpa must have painted that sunset just for us. Driving is a bit tough when you eyes are filled with tears. A few months later one of his classmates lost both parents, murder-suicide, try explaining that to a first grader. Anyway, my son asked his classmate if he knew how to draw stars. The boy did not know how, Sonny boy offered to teach him how, so he could draw where his parents were. Their teacher was the one with tears in her eyes that time.

Boys, for all their rough and tough can be so incredibly caring. When you have a son like that, it needs to be nurtured. You are indeed blessed to have one of the sweet caring boys, appreciate him.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Thanks, Jas!

Hey, Pic, you are so right about nurturing that side of our boys -- I believe wholeheartedly that encouraging our little guys to express their tender sides makes for a manlier man.

Thanks for sharing your sweet stories. Your little man is such a poetic soul.

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous gerry rosser said...

Not long after her paternal grandfather passed away, our little angel's dog (well, it was the family dog) which she had not known life without, went to his reward. She and I were in the car and she asked, "Poppi, is Ozzie [the aforementioned dog] in heaven?" I said I reckoned he was. She said, "Good, he can help take care of my grandpa." No tears, no muss, no fuss, she went back to gazing out the window at the "squawky birds" (sandhill cranes). She's 5.
Your story touched me, and reminded me of the above, which I hadn't thought about in a while.


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