Michael is passing on a favorite childhood hobby of his to Levi…making and flying balsa wood airplanes. There have been many nights during the past week that Michael has joined me in the studio after the kids are asleep to work on his models. He has set up shop over on the boys’ craft table, meticulously cutting out strips of balsa with an exacto knife, gluing on tissue paper and assembeling the parts with the utmost of precision and care. It all started one day with a trip to the hobby store where Michael picked up a couple of inexpensive kits…three flimsy pieces of balsa, a rubber band and a plastic propeller. After just a few flights (and crashes, of course) they would fall apart and need repair. So, my husband being the maker of things that he is, decided to just make his own. I don’t even know how many hours he has spent looking at old plane designs and shopping online for the right size propellers and rubberbands!
Levi has helped him build a couple of planes. Sitting together, they talk about “lift” and “wing span” and “tail rutters”…it’s their own language (our current library loan is loaded with books on airplanes.) It’s one of their first real Daddy-Son projects and I love how Michael’s childhood memory is helping to shape that of Levi’s and to see them bonding so much over this shared interest. I often hear Levi start a question with, “when you were a little boy like me Daddy…” There is a park just around the corner from our house with a huge open field and baseball diamond. This past weekend we were blessed with perfect flying weather and so the boys spent the afternoon flying their creations and chasing after them. It is amazing how high and for how long these planes can fly!! They look so lovely floating through the air (Levi has named them the “falling leaves.”)
It’s such a joy to watch my boys play together. An old electric typewriter followed me home from the thrift store recently for $5 and miraculously the thing works. It needs a tune-up and some new ink, but all the keys type just fine. I intended on giving it to Levi for Christmas, but instead kept it tucked away for a rainy day. He was delighted and amazed by this “old computer”, as he called it, and he had a blast tapping away at the keys one by one. He wrote “letters” to all his friends and asked me how to type the best letters of all…Because this letter was for Daddy.