Have you ever watched a baby bird first learning to fly? The mother mercilessly pushes it out of the nest, confident that once he begins falling, the baby will beat his wings and realize that he had great abilities that he never knew were in him. Within days, the baby bird gains the abilities and confidence to leave the nest for good. I felt much like one of those mothers when I said goodbye to my son on his first day of high school. But, I confess, I wasn’t totally confident that he would spread his wings and fly as I knew he was able to do. He has handled the myriad of adjustments very well and the first midterm report cards come out this week. I’m happy to say that academically he is doing quite well and is finding his niche of friends. We have hit a few bumps along the way, but every problem with school and teachers that I would have handled in the past, he has tackled himself with grace and maturity. The new and challenging environment has brought out a heightened sense of responsibility and confidence. My fledgling is learning to fly sooner and faster than I had expected. Just don’t leave the nest for good anytime soon, my son.