Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I have in front of me a photograph of my son standing in front of the airplane in which yesterday afternoon he took his first solo flight.
Maybe it's the angle of the photo, but the airplane looks teeny, hardly taller than he is. I'm trying to get accustomed to the idea that my younger child is flying around alone in the sky in a piece of equipment that looks not much bigger than a Honda Civic, but my brain cells resist, no matter how many times I look at the photo.
He's leaning his arm on the airplane in a proprietorial manner, the way he leans on his car in his prom picture, as if to mark his territory. He looks happy, like someone who has spent the afternoon blatantly defying the laws of gravity--and, moreover, intends to continue to do so. He's comfortable. He's in his element. He can fly!
And, best of all, he can land.