Lucas has just passed his half birthday, bringing him to the ripe old age of 8 and a half. And although I took these photos about a month ago, to me they capture something of his present age. This is my sensitive, clever boy flying through the air, determined, sure-footed, and courageous. He knows his capabilities. He can plan his footfalls, and he can adapt and switch course if he needs to.


He is self-assured and confident. He often marches into unknown territory with aplomb. His place in the universe is known and secure.


But there is still plenty of room for striving, for challenging himself, for testing and experimenting. It’s imperative. He must negotiate his way through space, through relationships, through his own needs and self-knowledge. He knows that he might get hurt, but he also knows he will heal if he does.


Sometimes he falls short or is disappointed. Sometimes he takes blows to his ego. Sometimes, despite all our efforts, he feels unloved and unwanted. He sits in judgment on himself and sometimes he doesn’t like what he sees. This too, is part of his age. He’s right where he’s supposed to be, figuring out who he is, and where and in what ways he is separate from others.


At this moment, he’s preparing to leave home. He has been planning an adventure for a few days now—one that he’s going on all by himself. He needs some freedom, he tells us. (At first his plan was to spend a whole day and night away, on his own, but that’s been modulated down to a more reasonable bike ride to his friends’ house a few blocks away. He knows to call me when he arrives there.)

Carpe diem! He is ready. He has a backpack full of provisions—lunch, a magnifying glass, and notebooks for any scientific discoveries he might make along the way. He also has his wand, just in case any bad guys or Dementors hassle him. He has his instructions and air in his tires. He knows his phone number.

Ah. That’s the bell on his bike. I hear it ringing as he rides out of the driveway, shouting good-bye. He made sure to give me a big hug and kiss, and gave some to his dad and brother, too. I saw the sparkle in his eyes. He is full of both our concern and our trust. He is feeling big, and capable, and sure.

Fare thee well, my sweet son.

2 Responses to “8.5”

  • Amata Elizabetha
    November 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    The photos are fabulous. The essay is amazing. The love is abundant!


  • kelly
    November 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    ahhhh….departure. A very beautiful thing indeed.


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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