Up a Tree Without a Paddle

My sailor has lately discovered the joys of flying remote-controlled aircraft.

It was initially meant to be a hobby he could pursue with our boy. Unfortunately our boy cannot always be coerced into standing in a windy and/or rainy field with his dad. On those occasions, the position of second mate in our family’s remote-control flying corps falls on me.

Recently, I was on duty.

“I’ve been scouting the neighbourhood for a good field,” he announced as we headed off. “I found a perfect one. It’s huge, no one seems to use it in the evenings and there’s nothing for the plane to hit.”

“Super,” I said checking my email and Facebook status as we drove.

He parked and I looked up to see where he’d taken me. We were at the local high school.

“What did I tell you? It’s perfect!”

“It’s a school field,” I said.

He nodded.

“I don’t think I’m allowed on school property outside of school hours because of the lock out.”

(Our labour dispute has escalated to the point that we’re holding province-wide rotating strikes and the employer has imposed a partial lock out on teachers on the days we work. In order to justify docking 10% of our salary while getting 100% service, the employer has announced that we’re not permitted to interact with students at recess and lunch. We’re also not allowed to be at school prior to 45 minutes before the beginning of the day or 45 minutes after dismissal.)

His grin faded a bit. “You’re kidding, right?”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry, but someone might see me and I don’t know what would happen if I’m on school district property during the time I’ve been ordered to stay away.”

“Fine, I’ll try to fly by myself.”

I could tell he was disappointed, but he couldn’t have been too upset because he remembered to come back and roll down the windows for me a minute later. (He loves me!)

I watched through the wind shield, my mind wandering until I saw something that made me sit up and take notice–something that made me get out of the truck and run to the edge of the field to snap photos.

My sailor was up a tree! He’d crashed his plane in the branches and climbed up to release it. I had no idea he was so agile!

When he came back to the truck he commented on my interest in his climbing abilities. “You sure took lots of pictures of me in the tree.”

“I think I got some good shots.”

“Funny, but I didn’t hear you calling out to me to be careful.”

“Hmmm,” I thought for a moment. “I didn’t want to distract you?”