The Blue Angels are huge supporters of the Make a Wish Foundation. They are performing at the airshow in Kaneohe this weekend and we received a special invitation to watch them practice with other wish recipients yesterday. I thought it was kind of fitting as our wish trip was a year ago. As the show started, the organizers wanted each wish kid and one adult to corral in a different area to meet the Angels after the show. Sigh. It was just me. With 4 kids. Like I already didn't feel pulled in 12 directions. I didn't feel comfortable leaving any of the kids. We had friends nearby who offered to keep an eye on the other 3 so Lily and I ventured to the holding pen. Right behind the announcer's tent. Which managed to obstruct a perfect view of the show. Sigh. Insert jet noise. Bella starts panicking and tries to scale the fence separating us. Phillip looks at me with big brown puppy dog eyes. What am I doing? He wants to meet the pilots so bad- I can see it. I wave him over. He lights up- I tell him to walk around and give him specific instructions to hold Lily's hand follow one of the adults and for the love of god try to look my way once with a pilot so I can snap a picture. I mean how often do you get to meet a Blue Angel? He is almost hopping up and down with excitement. Lily sees what's going on and starts in on the dramatic crying. I tell her she can go with Phillip or we all stay together. She changes her tune.
The jets land while Bella continues to scale me. The noise has always bothered her but the simultaneous roar of 5 jets seems to be putting her over the edge. We are well past ear plugging. She actually has both legs wrapped around mine and is climbing under my shirt. Kiera is next to me chattering on and on about something or someone she saw. She wants to go talk to them. Really? Sure kid go wander around on your own at an airshow. I give her the look that makes her zip her lip and stand by quietly. The kids are being led out to meet the pilots. People are every where. I can't get a picture. Oh well- the kids will have the memory. Then I have an opening- they are talking with a pilot, I yell to Phillip to look at me. He looks, tells the pilot thank you and drags Lily over to me on the sideline. Really? I explain to him what I am trying to do. Ohhhhh. he says. Yeah, oh. Now go and get me a photo opportunity- Go! He laughs at my insanity and drags Lily back to the throng of people. A minute later, I have my photo opportunity and the kids go back for the group photo. They finally work their way back to our section and Phillip proudly shows me the autographs of the pilots. Lily has a grimace. "I didn't get to talk to the girl one!" She crosses her arms grumpily. I didn't have the heart to tell her there wasn't a female Blue Angel right now that the lady she saw was either the event coordinator or flight surgeon. But to a 5 year old- a lady in a flight suit is a pilot and who am I to tell her different? After all- wishes make dreams come true.
It was fun hanging out at the airshow. It's been a lot of years since I've been to one. The Make a Wish Foundation and Blue Angels provided us with a great opportunity and yummy food and treats for the afternoon. So many yummy treats that Bella felt the need to regurgitate many of them at 3 am. Of course that could have been a result of the time I caught her licking her shoe, but we'll never know for sure.