Shelley Steinley Design


On the Lookout

Noah and Finner in the sunset.jpg

Three months since I’d seen my son, we parked at the outpatient facility and I got Finner out of the car. We’d just rounded the back of our rental vehicle, when I saw my him hastening our way. He’d been watching, waiting, on the lookout. Finner, walking me instead of me him, was out front, leash taunt. Two steps, he realized it was Noah and broke into a run pulling me behind. Meeting mid-sidewalk, Noah fell to embrace the whining, whimpering, chirping-like-a-bird, Finner. There is no relationship like a boy and his dog.


We had dinner at an Italian restaurant for his birthday. He got pizza, I got salad, Finner got leftovers. We went to a park and threw Frisbee. Finner chased squirrels. Watching the sunset over the bridge, we (somehow) kept Finner from swimming. Walking along the park path, we commented on the rock sculptures, water fountain, and natural playground built for kids. His brother called to wish him a happy birthday.

It was the perfect day for a perfect son.



I used to be that mom that didn’t think she was planning her kid’s life.  I’d watch Noah play tennis and see his future (in my mind)–great. I thought it was tennis. I thought he’d get a scholarship, maybe even play pro. But, that’s not what he saw, wanted. Like me at his age, he didn’t know what he wanted, so he set out to find out.

Know what you want. Even if you don’t all-the-way know, choose something. Decide. Then, answers come.

The other day I went to Noah’s old tennis school and talked to Margret, the principal. I love her. She’s so inspiring. I told her I was writing a book, a memoir called Hold on For Your Life. She said, “Oh Shelley, what if it becomes a movie!” I chuckled when she said it, but as I drove out of the parking lot I gasped at her brilliance.

What if it does become a movie? Noah’s life. What if Noah does play tennis again? Even though I know it’s not about tennis, tennis plays a role. Coming back, being great, saving lives, claiming leadership, are all awaiting.

To know what my son knows at nineteen took me until forty-nine. What you think about, you create. You are in charge of your destiny. You set the plan in motion. God-willing, the Universe delivering, but you determine the direction you will go.  

The ball is in your court.

shelley steinley