Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two Brothers on an Airplane

On October 6, 2008, when I had been writing this blog for only six months, and Leif had been dead that long, I wrote about an incident that took place on an airplane. I was surprised, the other day, to find a photo I took at that time. When I originally wrote about it, I had the date wrong. It actually happened April 24, 1977, and we must have been flying to Kansas, not Germany.

Leif was a little over two years old, and Peter A. was eight. I was flying alone with them, and they were quite a handful, just normal slightly rambunctious boys. They actually entertained each other for quite awhile but then they began to get on each other's nerves and began to fight. It was annoying to all of us, and although they weren't loud, it probably wasn't all that pleasant for those around us, either. It was primarily boredom and being stuck in those seats, just running out of interesting things to do.

Peter A. said to me, in a rather snotty tone of voice, "Why does HE have to be here?" and added some comment about why we didn't just leave Leif behind.

I remember telling him that he wouldn't appreciate it if someone had that attitude about him, either when he was two or now, but he wasn't buying it.

Not long after that, Leif fell asleep. I thought Peter A. would be glad, because then he didn't have to put up with his little brother, but no, in just a few minutes he was asking me, "When is he going to wake up?"

I told him I thought he wanted to be rid of his little brother and would be glad now that he was asleep and he didn't have to put up with him.

I had a hard time not laughing at his reply. He wanted to wake Leif up!

I asked him why, and he said, "I'm bored. There's no one to fight with."

Such is the way of brothers . . . and perhaps sisters, too, I guess.

Leif looks so sweet and cuddly in this picture. He's wearing the little plastic set of "pilot" wings the airline gave him. I wonder, sometimes, if those and that flight began his love of flying, a love that was destined for disappointment when he found out in high school that he couldn't pass the flight physical.

Peter A. looking over that pillow, the one he put between them to keep Leif from touching him. So cute, the two of them. It's easy to say that now, looking at the photo. At the time, I was doing all I could to keep them settled down. It wasn't a relaxing flight for me, though Leif eventually relaxed plenty. :)

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