Today we went to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola for the day. If you’re ever in the area, you don’t want to miss it. It’s free, fun, and super interactive for kids AND adults. We have been once before when Bean was just over a year old, so we figured it was time to go again.
The kids had a blast! They climbed all over airplanes and sat inside fighter jets. Gracie squealed loud enough that I worried the Military Police would come confiscate her as a weapon of mass destruction.
There was this really great play area for the kids that we hadn’t played in before. It’s an indoor playground that looks like a battleship. It would have been perfect except that there was these really big kids running around like crazy people. They were knocking little kids down and scaring other kids. I was a little hesitant to let Gracie go up in there with Bean because I worried about her getting knocked over, but she really wanted to go, so we thought we’d try it out.
Bean said he would stay with Gracie, and the two of them headed off to conquer the battleship. We watched them climb up and up and up, and then at the top of the last platform, a group of bigger boys ran past them, knocking Gracie to the ground. More than hurting her, I think it scared her. She started crying, and then when she realized that she didn’t know where she was or, more importantly, where I was, she started REALLY crying. And it was that scared cry. Any parent knows that cry, and knows that it is the most heartbreaking kind of cry you can hear your child make.
Bean tried so hard to get Gracie to calm down. I could hear his little voice saying, “It’s okay, Gracie. It’s okay,” but she was hysterical. He helped her to her feet, and then he said to her, “I’m going to go get mom and dad,” and he took off running. I was so proud of him for thinking to come get us. What a good boy.
I was just about to turn to Chris and have him hold my purse so I could shimmy up the battleship and rescue my sailor, but in the 2.3 seconds that all this transpired, Chris had dumped his jacket on the floor at my feet and was already halfway up the battleship stairs. I watched as he made it to the top of the ship where Gracie was standing, and he reached down and swooped her up in his arms. She instantly stopped crying and buried her little face in his neck with her arms around him. Chris made his way back down the playground steps carrying Gracie to where I was standing below with Bean, who had now found me.
I remember when Chris and I were buying our first house and I heard him talking like, you know, a real adult. He asked questions about home warranties and flood insurance. I remember thinking at the time, “I love him because he can take care of me.” Now that we are parents, I see Chris taking on all kinds of duties and responsibilities that he has never had to have before. I hear him asking questions about preK reading strategies and immunizations and BRATs diets. And I see him swooping in to save our kids when they are hurt or scared. And I think to myself, “I love him because he can take care of them.”
I’m a lucky, lucky girl.