“You will never guess what happened in study hall today, Mom.”

I look up from the lettuce leaves I am pushing around the bowl with my fork into his eager 15-year-old eyes.  The story tumbles out in a rush.

“We were sitting there, all quiet, working, and D. started singing, “I believe I can fly.   I believe I can touch the sky.”  Then A. and I joined in and sang with D. “I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away.”  Then C. and L. joined us.  “I believe I can soar.  I see me running through that open door, I believe I can fly.”  And we were all singing together, from around the room, “I believe I can fly.  I believe I can fly.”   Then Mr. B. said, “Ok, enough.  Quiet down.”  It was so awesome!”


He sits at the kitchen table as I make dinner looking at cars on Craigslist.

“Check this one out!  Look at this truck.   Oh man, that would be so awesome!”  His eyes are sparkling at the thought of buying his first set of wheels.  July can’t come fast enough for him.  He and his father spend their free time sifting and sorting through all the possibilities.  I tune them out.  I don’t want to hear about the wheels that will take my son away.

From me.

From home.

To manhood.

To independence.

I prefer to be the three-year-old who covers her eyes with chubby hands and squeals, “You can’t find me.”  If I ignore the change that is coming, it will go away.  He won’t leave.  He will stay here with me forever.

I hear a whisper in my soul, “You are raising him to soar.”  My heart clutches.

I breathe deeply.  I walk to the table.  I put my hand on his shoulder, lean over and peer at the screen.  “Wow.  It is awesome,”  …just like you.


7 thoughts on “Soaring

  1. It is heartbreaking to watch them take those steps to independence. It happens whether we want it or not, just get your heart ready for these days to fly by.

  2. What a beautifully written sentiment! The irony of parenting is that we raise them to be strong, independent, capable kids – then we don’t want them to leave us! He will soar and I’m sure he will still want/need you in the wings.

  3. Love the way you began this piece. We get a glimpse of who your son is, then get to hear your thoughts about him. he will soar and you will be proud!

  4. Okay, you choked me up. Beautiful. I’ve been there, done that … my youngest of three (boys) is home for spring break from college just yesterday; I continue to well up when I see him “flying.” He is much amused by this! Really lovely that you went over to him and hung out with him at the computer, present for as much time as he gives you right now.

  5. Pingback: Got Wheels, Will Drive | steps in the literacy journey

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