There’s a quote that has been around for some time. It’s about giving our children the lasting gifts of roots…so they have a wonderful foundation…and wings…so they dare to soar to their own magnificent heights. I was reminded of this quote just a few days ago when someone asked me how I was doing. My own two, you see, have really spread those wings. With one deployed and the other one living overseas, I can say with assurance that they are soaring quite nicely. And while goodbye is never easy, it is a natural part of a joyful, productive life. So I’ve got two things as the take away on this issue.
One…I can rejoice that I have contributed to the confidence and independent spirit of my amazing children. It wasn’t all me, of course, but I do think I helped.
Two…I know something about myself more clearly than ever. I don’t do that cling thing. Ugh. Bleh. Pooey.
Remember a jingle associated with some sort of plastic wrap? Oh, you ain’t got a thing if you ain’t got that cling. Do wop, do wop, do wop. Seems like advertising jingles are not nearly as popular as they used to be. I wonder why, given how long some of them have stuck in our minds. Of course, I don’t remember the brand of plastic wrap at all. And I never did get the point of singing do wop while turning your wrapped bowl upside down and shaking. But obviously the essence of the ad was easy to interpret. Cling is good.
Except in relationships.
Would my kids have felt so empowered to find and relish in their adventurous destinies if I had wrapped myself around them tightly to…well, to what? To preserve them? To maintain the safety and sanctity of our relationship? Good grief, it sounds ridiculous. But for some, that’s what they do. And for some, that’s what works. It would NOT work with my children. I suspect they would have spread those wings anyway, but there would have been feelings of sadness and worry and…ugh, ugh, double ugh…guilt. I want them to zippity zoom off and about and yes, I do want them to check in with me and love me to the moon and beyond and to come home sometimes and give me twenty million hugs and kisses. Sure, I want that. I love me some hugs and kisses from the two most spectacular beings I have ever known.
And then I want them to leave and soar and experience. If I need to sniff and sigh for a few moments when they do, that’s okay. I’m allowed. Because after that I find my big girl britches and rock on with my own amazing life. And I tell them about it. It’s a mutual encouragement fest.
I think the only time clinging works is when both people are so inclined. If that’s the case, have at it. Buy stock in Velcro and do everything together. If it works, it works, and why not? It just doesn’t work for me.
I’m not deployed and I’m not living overseas, but I’m soaring in my own realm. I like to think my kids are proud of me. Maybe they feel they had a part in my own roots and wings.
And you know what? They did, and they continue to inspire me every day.