"I'm sorry I never really believed," I said. "Not the way Jack did." "It doesn't make any difference," my mother replied. Her eyes focused on the beanstalk for a moment, then returned to mine. "You believe now. Be safe and smart up there, my Gen. Be yourself." Before I could answer, my mother turned away and walked quickly toward the house. I turned to face the beanstalk. There is no going back now, I thought. For better or worse, there was only going forward. There was only going up. Seizing the trunk of the beanstalk with both hands, I pushed off from the World Below and began to climb."