Live Love Blend:
Which is More Important, Roots or Wings?
As a mother, I believe my job is to give our children roots and wings. Ideally, both should be strong and healthy. What I’m discovering now that 4 of our children are teenagers and young-adults, is that there is no way to anticipate which is growing faster – the roots or the wings.
This is discovery came first with our oldest. He has strong roots. His wings, however, are quite underdeveloped. So much so that he decided to drop out of college and move home last year.
I couldn’t help but think that if I’d been in his life sooner things would be different. His dad and I married less than 6 years ago, so he was already a full-blown teenager before I came on the scene. I thought that I just didn’t have enough time to intervene in many areas of his development the way I would have liked to.
As of this week, my perspective has been changed.
I discovered my 16-year-old son has been looking at apartments and researching ways to move out and support himself. I discovered that the boy I’ve often called my mini-me, has been developing his wings so much that he feels he has no roots at all. He wants to fly, and he wants to do it now.
Oh yes, I remember being 16 and thinking I was ready to take on the world. I remember thinking that if I could just get out from under my parents everything would be so much better. Like I said, he’s my mini-me.
Do I think this kid could survive on his own? Actually, yes. But should he? Absolutely not. There is no way he will convince me to let him move out before he graduates from high school. No way. And believe me, he’s presented a number of arguments.
Not gonna happen.
My question is, how do we help this boy strengthen his roots without clipping his wings? I love that he’s responsible and self-sufficient. I love that he’s scrappy and resourceful. I hate that he wants to skip these last precious years of childhood, that he doesn’t have a good connection to his father or step-father and that he feels like a burden to our family.
I guess that’s why we can all relate to being a “Good Enough Mother”. Doubts are many and answers are few, whether the children are ours by birth or by marriage.
I do know 2 things that I can and will continue to do every day that work every time…
- LOVE unconditionally
- PRAY unceasingly
What works for you?
For now, I’ll hope that this emancipation idea is just a case of “teenager-itus” that will soon run its course.