Tuesday, November 4th, 2014...8:51 pm


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In June, as we drove across the country, he incessantly talked of flying. He was sure he could do it if he reached deep enough for the power all of his beloved superheroes possessed. “I’m going to fly,” he would say over and over again.

At night he would jump onto the beds, arms stretched out in front of him as if he could just take off. He would land in the pile of pillows he’d set out for himself. Every once in a while, if his running start was good enough, he’d declare success.

He was sure he could fly. He was so sure that it sometimes scared me. What if he tried to fly and there were no pillows to soften his landing?

At the Air and Space museum he looked at the rockets and planes and the astronaut suits and he marveled at their power to take flight. At the top of the stairs, as we headed out to continue our travel, we spotted above us a suit made for flying. A human suit with wings attached. I looked up at that contraption and wondered if its inventor also had a small boy who wished every day that he could fly.

Pretty soon the declaration faded. His intention to fly was overtaken by his fascination with running and jumping and building and fighting pretend bad guys. He would run as fast as Flash and for a while he seemed content with keeping his legs firmly planted on the ground.

But lately, he wakes up and tells me that he dreamed of flying. He will be riding in the car or playing with his cars and he’ll look up at me, head to the side, and say wistfully, “I dreamed I could fly.”

This morning he ran laps in the house before we left for school, arms out to the side flapping up and down in classic flying motion.

“I wish I could get the air like a bird,” he said, looking at his arms and wishing here were feathers where he had skin. “Then I could fly in the air.”

I’m pretty sure he knows he can’t really fly, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming and wishing and flapping his arms and hoping beyond hope that if he flaps enough he could sprout wings. Today he pretended all of his food was bird food and he looked up at a bird sitting atop a telephone pole and said, “If I was a bird I could fly up there and talk to the giants.”

He runs and flaps and declares his intention to fly and I listen and watch and wish that for a moment I too could feel the joy and possibility and weightless wonder of a young boy who looks at the sky and wishes to be up there looking down, swooping and gliding and talking to the giants who live in the clouds.


Linking up with Heather for JustWrite.


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