Roots and wings. My children go through growth spurts where they seem to shoot up all of a sudden, and I’m convinced that in the last two years, I’ve been through one too. Something has shifted.
My twenties were spent building a career and rushing round at 100mph trying to cram it all in, and my early 30’s were spent building a family and learning to juggle on zero sleep and a steep learning curve. But my late 30’s have been a place where I’ve been able to sit back and reflect a little. To slow down and enjoy what I’ve created, and to have that accomplished feeling like “Yes, I actually did it!” I have produced two beautiful children and have managed to get them to 10 and 6 years old without any harm coming to them, whilst keeping a roof above their head and creating a lifetime of happy, secure childhood memories for them that will be a solid foundation for their sense of self as they become the young adults they are in training to be.
“For you my child, I wish two things; To give you roots, And give you wings” – Anon
I love this saying. It sums up what I’m trying to do at home. My kids have stability and certainty. They can reach out and try new things, knowing that if it all goes wrong, that mum will be there with open arms, waiting to make it all better. To patch up the wounds (whether actual or emotional) and send them back out again for another go.
I don’t believe in wrapping kids up in cotton wool. It does them no good. They need preparing for life, and life doesn’t come in sugar coated sweetness with everything rosy. My mum has a friend who won’t let her grandchildren play on a trampoline when she is with them – a trampoline! She avoids risk at all costs, but what good is that going to do? My job is ultimately to make myself redundant. As mad as that sounds, who wants to be of no use? But if I do my job right now, this is what I’ll be on a practical level, when my children become adults.
So whilst I’m still of use, I’m making the most of it. Blogging my guts out on here each week, noticing the little everyday things that would otherwise pass by overlooked. Paying attention to the things they do, the things they say, organising lots of family days out, craft activities and ways to spend time together – as well as plenty of unstructured chill out time. It all goes into a full and interesting life but also makes great blog fodder.
One day my children will read this blog. I like to think they might do so when they have children themselves, to find out ways they can entertain their kids or to reminisce about their own childhoods. Maybe this will be after I’m dead and gone? I hope to be here for many years but who knows what is around the corner?
At least by writing this blog, I’ll still be teaching them in years to come. The lessons learned now are preserved for the future. They can learn who I am as a woman and not just as ‘mum’. They can remind themselves of how much I love them, and they can know that we lived a great life.
I can teach them about the art of living.
I think the secret is noticing.