“We need to talk,” she started, sounding more like a woman about to end a relationship than one trying to speak to her own offspring.
“Um,” he responded in perfect teen pitch that signaled obligation rather than interest.
But before she could continue, she flashed on her childhood of wonder, the time of bb guns and endless bike rides, of games of ditch in hotel corridors and shoplifting at the local five and dime. Hers was the more disobedient generation, the one operating outside parental observation.
‘Be home before dark’ was the extent of adult guidance. That and ‘The Golden Rule.’
What if she could shift right now in this precise moment and offer her son those few words? She could tear up her list and allow him the freedom to encounter error and hurt, to walk his own path and learn his own way. She could give him that gift, if only she could do so and still breathe.