Sunday, March 23, 2014

Learning to Fly

Slice of Life Challenge, Day 23

A sudden burst of color shoots past my knees.  My three year old son, eager to head out for an afternoon walk at a local state park, takes off in a run toward the paved pathway that leads downhill toward the river.  There is no stopping him.  He has flown past pleas to slow down that both his father and I call out to him.  In a split second, as he gains all the speed his little legs can muster, I watch it happen.  He throws his arms behind him, and although I don't see it, I imagine that he tried to push off with his right foot. To take to the air.  To fly. Wind pushing back his blonde hair, face turned upward, eyes closed, arms held behind him like wings unfurling.

Of course, he didn't. He came crashing down, face first into the pavement.  There was a moment before the tears, when my husband and I were rushing toward him that he looked up stunned, almost finding it hard to believe that he didn't lift off. And then the tears.  I imagine them to be not only accompanying the bloody cut on his forehead, but also for a bit of heartbreak.  The gash on his forehead a reminder that he was to stay firmly planted to the ground.

For now.

See this is not a new story. This is what he does.  In fact exactly one week ago while we were getting coffee at a local cafe, my little man took off on a full run around the cobblestone courtyard, arms thrown behind him as if he were flying.  He caught himself a bit better last week; the fall only resulting in a familiar big purple goose egg on his forehead, but no blood.  He is my dreamer, my idealist. He gets up, tries again.  Eyes to the sky, this little one will fly.  And I so desperately want him to, to keep that hope, that belief in something impossible.  I want him to fly.  And more than that, I want him to keep up that persistence and perseverance that drives him to get back up and try again even after so many heartbreaking falls.

But maybe next time he can try again while running on the grass.
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