A few weeks ago I allowed myself to be dragged to an airshow at the local Air Force base. I knew I would get sunburned, the crowd would be horrible, and I had seen the demonstration teams numerous times in the past decade and didn’t relish dragging the wee baby Craig and the accompanying diaper bag around all day. But before the day was through, I had a surprising revelation.
After what took what seemed like hours to get parked and through the gates we began to walk up to the airplanes.
“What’s that big one over there?” My wife asked pointing.
“That’s a C-5 cargo plane, you can tell because both the nose and the tail open up.” I replied barely needing to browse my memory banks.
“Look we can go inside!” Mrs. Craig exlaimed.
As we walked through my wife marveled that an aircraft so big could actually fly. The wee baby Craig was equally awed and craned her head trying to take in the vast interior. As we exited the aircraft, we came upon another aircraft and when my wife asked me I replied.
“That’s an F-22.”
Her response was a puzzled look and a drawn out “Ok…?”
At once the air show transformed for me and I began to see it through my wife and child’s eyes. Instead of aging aircraft and well rehearsed routines. I saw what they saw: Sleek deadly fighter, unimaginably huge aircraft, and breath taking aerial acrobatics by daredevil pilots.
It turns out the crowds weren’t really that bad, and I didn’t get too sunburned. What I did get was an afternoon of sharing my passion for aircraft with the ones I loved and a chance to see again why I had gotten into this field in the first place.
Let’s face it, we all get burned out and jaded by our profession at one point or another, but if you can, try to share it with someone new. Go to a convention, a tradeshow, grand opening, or any other large gathering put on in your fields honor. I promise they will be rewarding experiences that will refresh you come Monday.
…And watching the Thunderbirds is always cool, even if it does terrify your daughter.
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