He bounded up to us, and greeted my son. I was taken off guard. I didn’t know him, but my son did. I was an observer. It was all out of my league and over my head. They shared a passion for this activity, for what it meant and the possibilities it held.
I stepped back and let the action unfold, the tightness unraveling in my chest. My son is fine. More than fine. Happy.
These open spaces, where people come together, not out of obligation or necessity, but because they want to be here. They want to share, to be involved, and to create something. Acceptance, willingness to try, to risk, and to believe… things that are stifled in other more institutionalized settings. These things flourish out here.
The community is ripe with people who love things. People who make things. People who want to be together.
My son has found the people who want what he wants and love what he loves. I can’t help but think in this moment, as he is on the edge of adulthood, how many times I was told my expectations were too high. That I was wrong. We always sought solace in these open spaces, where choice rules over bureaucracy, and risk is not so much a liability as par for the course.
It is paying off now. He is a young man with a vision of his own, and a plan to achieve it. Now like any parent of a young adult, I get to step back, watch and encourage.
As he steps out into these open spaces.