Jess munched happily, enjoying her meal, realizing this was the first meal her son had prepared for her by himself. He had helped Doug fix her birthday and Mother’s Day breakfasts, but that was long ago. He really was capable of feeding himself. Her dad had mentioned Rory needed more responsibility.
“You’re spoiling your son,” he’d said. “He’s going to turn into a wimp.”
She’d thought he was being too hard on his grandson. “He’s only fourteen, Dad,” she’d insisted.
A part of her knew her dad was right. But it was so hard. She’d start to ask Rory to take more responsibility, and she’d remember him standing at his father’s grave, so lost. And then she’d do the work herself.
“Mom, have you ever heard of a phoenix?” Rory’s question brought her back to the present.
She swallowed her bite before answering. “Sure. It’s a mythical bird that lives for a long time and when it burns, a new phoenix comes to life from the ashes. Why?”
“We’re studying myths in Language Arts. We’re supposed to write about a myth that applies to our lives. I think the phoenix’s story is a lot like us.”
“Because we had to start over again after Dad died. It was really tough for a while, like the fire and the ashes. But I think we’re starting to make it.” He bent his head over his notebook.
Choking on the lump in her throat, Jess couldn’t have responded if she’d tried.
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