I’m grateful we have a project to work on together.
You’re getting older and more independent. You’re even heading out alone to visit some of your siblings: Panda in Forgotten Hollow and Manny in Oasis Springs.
When we talked about it, and I volunteered to go with you, I’ve got to admit, if I’m being perfectly honest, that I hoped you’d say you wanted me to come along.
I wonder if you knew I felt this way. Probably. You looked a little uncomfortable when you said that it was something you felt you had to do alone.
I understand. Or at least I imagine that I do. I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to imagine what it must be like to be telepathic. It means what I feel, imagine, and think is right there for you to feel, imagine, think.
It seems kind of noisy, to me.
So when you go to see your siblings–especially for the first time–I can imagine you might need to reduce some of that noise. Maybe you don’t want to be tracking my thoughts and feelings while you’re tuning in to your siblings initially.
I mean, I know that you’re always connected with your siblings. But it’s different when you’re in physical proximity, isn’t it?
That’s how I imagine it, at least.
At any rate, you told me thanks. That you appreciated it.
You’ve grown into a young man, son.
I know I have to let you go. A few years, and you’ll finish high school. Then what?
You are free to do what you want. We don’t have much money, but then neither did Nonny and Poppy when I went to university and grad school. We’ll qualify for grants. You’ll get scholarships. Student loans won’t kill a person, though I’ve got to admit I’ll be relieved when mine are finally paid off five years from now.
You’ve developed good habits. I’m proud that you’ve taken it upon yourself to clean up the park.
I even find you out there at night, mopping up the spilled paint and graffiti.
You’ve got a good work ethic, too, son. Not a day has passed when you don’t do your homework.
I’ll tell you one thing: We couldn’t build this rocket without you.
Of course, if it weren’t for you, we probably wouldn’t have a cause to build it, since it was your people who gave it to us, after all.
I’ve asked you many times what you think it’s for. You reply is always the same: “Just in case.”
But “just in case” of what, I don’t even want to imagine. I shudder to think of any situation where a rocket might play a part in the contingency plan.
I try to not even think about there being a rocket in our backyard. A rocket. In our backyard.
It doesn’t phase you, though. You’re reaching the age of independence, and there’s a rocket in our backyard, and you look as if the entire universe were your turf.
And I am trying not to worry.
Maybe if I give you enough independence, you’ll have no reason to ever leave, and you’ll stay.
Do you think?
You’ll always be my boy.