“So, Rachel, what did you ask Santa for this year?” Paul teased me next.
“The same thing I ask for every year and never get…a hockey stick.” I’d asked for one in the fourth grade, and my mom wouldn’t even consider it since she was certain I’d break somebody’s leg, probably my own. So to prove how much it really meant, I just kept asking for the same thing every year.
“Didn’t you get a puck once?” Paul was taking a mental inventory of my past Christmases.
“No…” I rolled my eyes. Lane smiled from across the room. It wasn’t a laughing smile. It was a remote, but content, one. A lot was happening in him tonight. Things which would chart the course of his life from now on. I wanted to walk across the room and give him a shove, make sure he made it from now to then, because if I didn’t, I’d be like his mom and hold him back, keep him close where he’d always been, the way I liked him. But I stayed where I was, and I forced a smile in return. To interfere with his next few steps would be as deadly as breaking the shell away from a hatching chick. These were steps he had to take on his own, no one holding him back, no one pushing him, no one peeling away his shell.
—From “Sonata Contineo,” a moment when loving is letting go – the best and most difficult of all forms of love.
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