It was a beautiful day.

The first after a litany of rainy, cloudy cold ones and I wanted to do something outside with my boys.

Too muddy to go hiking, too wet to go for a bike ride, I was desperate for a plan.

At 6 and 9, they have sort of aged-out of the whole park experience although in a pinch they’ll tackle one. It’s just that you won’t get your ROI there; you’ll be hoping for an hour – maybe two – yet might get 45 minutes at best. “This place is for kids,” they’ll say.

And they are boys after all. Boys on their way to being men. So we play with knives and talk about our balls. It is an integral part of becoming a man, and as a father sometimes I feel I owe it to them to blur the line between parenting and bro’ing down.

Enter the balsa wood airplane.

I wanted to share with them something from my childhood, something that came before the dawning of videos and gaming systems. So we drove to the hobby shop in the small mall. We call it the small mall, because well, it ain’t the big mall and, because well, we are men and we think in absolutes right? Big, small. Black, white. Full glass, empty glass. But the hobby shop at the small mall was gone. Because well, who needs to shop at malls anymore when you can order shit over the internet.

So I drove to the eclectic, over-priced toy store in Carrboro.

But all they had was foam planes for double dollars.

So then I drove back across town to Durham to A.C. Moore.


I was glad they had them because patience was starting to wear thin amongst us. Because we are boys; because we are men (sometimes we are DEVO) and because patience is a virtue that does not come in spades for us. I daintily put them together for the boys because I recalled days from my misspent youth crying over spilt milk, er, toys broken before they were ever used due to improper instruction on construction of them.

Then we wound our rubber bands, readied our planes and off they flew into the wild blue yonder.

And before you knew it, 2 hours had just blown by… and we still have them. Although I broke the rubber band on mine during an over enthusiastic wind-up, I managed to tie it back together like MacGyver without missing a beat in the dogfight.

Now I want a squadron.