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  • Writer's pictureA is for Agape

Learning to Fly

My son tells me he dreams of flying one day.  He stretches his arms wide and glides around the back yard.  He says this is pretend play.  Someday it will be real flying.  My daughter trails along behind him, fluttering her arms in a good imitation.  She too wants to fly someday, she says.  They stop short of closing their eyes, as I would have to do.  Their imaginations take them there just fine.

My sister went away for the first time her freshman year in College, flew away on a big airplane all the way to England.  She was so young, so brave.  My parents asked her if she was sure, if that was really what she wanted.  She kept packing her bags in assent.  She flew those thousands of miles away all by herself, to find herself.  She never once thought she couldn’t.

My daughter puts on her fairy wings and tutu and says that today she will be a fairy all day.  Well, until her brother calls her back to the planet Nabu, or wherever it is his aliens live.  He is well into his own game of Lego men and fantasy battles are under way.  They are both flying high.

I waved goodbye from the terminal gate.  My parents had hugged me one last time and then I was in line to board, ticket held tightly in my hand, off to a faraway place, on my own.  I couldn’t even look back for fear of losing the stoicism I had worked so hard to maintain.  After all, at twenty, I should be old enough to board a plane without tears.  Seventeen hours later I landed.

Our first taste of flight comes when our parents swing us high into the air that very first time.  We close our eyes tight and wish it would never end.  Our parents are the ones that let us know the world is wonderful and full of adventure while at the same time keeping our hands held tightly in theirs.

I watch as my husband swings my daughter around and around, her legs straight out from his body.  I remember my dad doing the same with me and so on down the line.  It’s what we do as parents.  We show our children how to fly.

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