Thus goes the legend. In olden times an eagle swooped down upon the New England coast, and carried off an infant Indian in his talons. With loud lament the parents saw their child borne out of sight over the wide waters. They resolved to follow the same direction.
I woke my sons at five in the morning on Monday. They were already packed and had their clothes laid out. David came out to hug them and our older son asked if he should put away his saxophone, which lay on its case on the living room floor. This activity woke up the dog. Our younger son hugged the dog, the dog wanted to be fed, we left David and the dog. The newspaper hadn’t been delivered yet.
It was still dark, of course. Stoplights along the route had been changed to blinking red lights. There was almost no traffic on the surface roads, and only a little on the highway. It took us twenty-five minutes to get to the airport, even with all those blinking lights. I pulled into a space in the short-term parking garage, and the boys shouldered their backpacks and rolled their duffels to the elevator, into the terminal, onto the moving walkway, into an elevator, and up to the security checkpoint.
Our older son held their passports and boarding passes. We hugged and kissed goodbye, and they passed through the doors onto the security line. Occasionally I could see one or the other boy lit by a spotlight, visible through the snaking line of passengers. I waved once to each of them. Then I couldn't see them anymore. I read the newspaper on my phone until I received the texts “Made it through” and “Love you.”
That was it. I was home by 6:30 am. I ate breakfast and read the paper. Eventually I was alerted that the boys had landed in Boston. Eventually I learned that they had taken off again and landed in Nantucket. Late last night our younger son called to tell me that he felt very far away from me. I said all the things you say to that.