fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Of rodeos, right midfield and rockets

It was a Jack-heavy itinerary today. He was the second best Third Grader in his school's bike rodeo, and, we established today, the seventh best in the whole city. Just time enough to change into the soccer uniform after that. And now to construct a rocket for the evening's rocket launch.

It has been a very vicarious kind of day. I so enjoy watching him grow, try and occasionally excel. This cloud, however, did not escape my attention. The one in the upper left-hand corner. A puffy little archetypal cumulus was forming so fast, right in front of my eyes. There was a time, when a sight like this (on a Saturday no less), would have had me heading to the airfield like nobody's business. Under each of these clouds is a column of warm air rising from the ground (called a thermal) and if you have some fiberglass or wood and cloth stretched just right, and your craft starts to bump in the turbulence a little, you can bank into those thermals and circle up that column until you reach the base of the cloud. Then you soar over to the next cloud and ride that column of air up again. On a day like today, you could do that for hours. If somebody wanted my opinion, I think that is what angels do. Soaring is that close to heaven.

But this is how I fly today. I sit on the bench and I watch him grow and try and occasionally soar.

Boys are fun. Boys are the ones that make things out of PVC pipe and hook those up to air compressors so that you can blast off paper rockets. Did it fly? You bet: His rocket flew the farthest! I think we stumbled across an innovative fin design. I'm so happy to have a boy with whom to do boy stuff. Oh, I'm all opposed to gender roles: No such thing as a boy thing or a girl thing, I know. Both boys and girls can do anything: They can both be inventors or homemakers or scientists or politicians or soldiers ...

My thoughts are with the mothers of sons and daughters in Iraq. American mothers and Iraqi mothers and your sons and daughters, whom you watched play soccer and ride bikes and make paper rockets.

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