Fledging is as good a place as any to begin.
After years of attending the church of "Let's Fling This Against the Wall and See What Sticks," my boys have a fairly good idea of where they excel, what they like, and how they want to spend their time. Recently, G told me he didn't want to go to campover 'because it will ruin my weekend plans.'
Up until this point, I didn't realize my 10-year-old was making plans. So I asked him what he had in mind. And he laid out a fairly complex and well-thought-out itinerary that quite frankly blew my mind. It included the camp-out, but it also included a pasta dinner, bowling league, and the rest of the weekend as it played out. And it was quite reasonable, so I amended our plans accordingly.
And much to my surprise, my 10-year-old boy's plans yielded an enjoyable weekend for us all.
I think this is where my previous entry, about things coming to an end, comes into play. When you stop forcing things to happen, there is room for other, wonderful things. Although we are not quite where I expected we would be by now, I couldn't have planned for some of experiences that have come about--marvelous opportunities and times for both of them. They have had opportunities to chose, and make choices, and make the most of those choices.
In some ways, both of them are testing their wings. And finding strength each of them never realized he had before. It's wonderful and terrifying, all at once. I am awed and humbled as they both learn to take flight.