Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fly Away Home

In the fall of 1995, I sat in a movie theater, great with child. We were watching the movie, Fly Away Home, the story of the young girl who goes to live with her father after her mother dies in a car accident. Her father has not been a part of her life, living on a different continent, and the transition is rocky, but then the girl, while protesting the deforestation about to happen near their property, finds and rescues about a dozen goose eggs. She tucks them into a drawer with heat lamps and watches them carefully, until one day, they begin to hatch! Geese imprint on the first living thing they see, so suddenly, she is the mother to all these baby goslings. They give her life meaning and happiness, and she spends all her free time with them. But she also knows that geese fly to warmer climates in the winter, and it's the mother goose who teaches them how, so she must find a way. With the help of her inventor father, she builds a little plane glider that has wings painted like a goose's, and she trains her geese to make the long-distance flight. Elaborate plans are made to carry this out while avoiding the authorities, and bring her babies south, and finally, after much training, the time comes when they must make the journey. At the end of the trip, of course, the news media has caught wind and are there waiting for them to arrive. Once she has done her part to ensure the safety of her geese, she must turn around and head home. She knows the geese are supposed to return to their spring and summer home, but she has no guarantee that her unconventionally raised geese will know that part.

I can remember my feelings in that movie theater so clearly. I was balling my eyes out, rubbing my round belly. Little Dylan-boy was just finishing up his growing on the inside of me, and I was crying because I knew the day would come when he would have to leave me, and of course little toddler Lyndsay would grow up and leave home too. Even before he was born, I was crying about him leaving!

I suppose I was doomed from the beginning then.

Today was the day that I took Dylan to the airport so he could fly away home. His new home, where he'll get to make new friends, attend a new ward and school, join a new Scout troop, have a new life, and all without me getting to watch it every day as I have for the last 15 years. It was torture sitting there waiting for that plane to pull up to the gate, and when it did, I lost it. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But, I'm not crying for Dylan, I'm crying for me. He left with a piece of my heart---a piece I need! But I will learn to live without it because he needs it more. I know this is the right move for him. I know it's what he needs. But I just miss him so much, already.

Before we left for the airport, I called him to my bedroom, where we knelt together. I held his hands in mine and prayed with all my heart for him during this time, to be safe, to be happy, to have great growth, and to always remember how much he is loved. I prayed for him to remember who he is and to discover the abundance of gifts and talents he has been given so that he can use them to bless others. I prayed that he would live up to who he was sent here to be, and that he would be strong and protected.

I certainly expected to have more time with him in my home. There were things I'd hoped we'd still get to do together, but I have peace that I've done the most important things. And I am still his mother, forever.

As the credits roll at the end of the movie, the pond still frozen over from winter's chill, the honking of geese can be heard, and one at a time geese fly in for a slippery landing on the ice outside the bedroom window of the one who raised them. They all came back! They didn't forget their mother!

I don't know if Dylan will ever come back to live here again, but I do believe that he will always know that he has another home. And I hope he comes to learn that it was out of love that I let him fly away.


piper said...

My heart is breaking for you, it's just a giant pile of cracked pieces on the floor.

I love you, Jenna. You're doing this thing amazingly well, and with more grace than anyone could. I admire you all the more, but I mostly just wish I could hug you so hard.

He'll be back sooner than you think. I know it!


Luisa Perkins said...

Aw, sweetie. Now *I'm* bawling. I feel your pain, even though our circumstances are different. I am dreading August 24th, when we drop Christian off at college. I am thrilled for him to start this new phase of his life, but so sad that a phase in my own life is now ending.

Annette Lyon said...

Sobbing here. I didn't realize our sons are so close in age. You've done an amazing job as his mom, and that will never be undone.