Exiting Planes

For the past month or so, I’ve been planning out a trip to visit my parents. The kids are really exited because they haven’t seen their grandparents, uncle and aunt and cousins in years…and when they found out that a trampoline was involved, they literally started jumping up and down!

Then Number 4 asked a very innocent question: “How’re we going to get there? By car?”

“No, it’s too far to go by car. We’re going to go by plane.”

And as soon as I said that, she started bawling! Tears streamed down her face, she was screaming, “No! No! I don’t want to go on a plane!!”

Now, she’s never been on a plane. She’s never been to an airport. She’s never even seen an airplane fly overhead. I really couldn’t understand her reaction. I mean, she’s never even seen an airplane movie!

Or so I thought….

“What’s wrong, Number 4? Why don’t you want to go on an airplane?”

“I’m scared.”

I still didn’t get it. How could she be scared of something she knew absolutely nothing about?

“What are you scared of?”

“We’ll have to jump!”

“WHAT?!?”

“We’ll have to jump to get out of the plane!”

“Who told you that?! No, we won’t have to jump.”

“Yes, we will. Just like in Despicable Me!”

To be honest, I couldn’t stop laughing. Once I composed myself, I explained to her that airplanes actually land, then people step off. She didn’t get it at first. She didn’t understand that the scene in Despicable Me – where the girls jump off the aircraft as it’s flying in the air- was an abnormality; the film had ingrained in her little mind that that was the normal way to get off of a plane. It took some convincing, but now she finally believes me.

So, my friends, not only must you be aware of sex, violence, drugs and all the other monstrosities our children are exposed to through the media, but you must also be aware that the fictional, fantastical scenes which to you might seem harmless, may in fact be  catalysts to deep fears in our children. For that reason, I always take the fun out of everything. I always explain, “cartoons are just pictures…people have a way of making them look like they move.” “No, there is no such thing as spider-man; if a person tries to jump from a building, he will fall and die.” “No, animals do not speak to humans.” Yes, I take the fun out of everything…but I’d rather have them understand the difference between real and imagination than have them think that a person can shrink the moon and steal it!

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