Yesterday a dear friend posted on Facebook that her twin boys had driven to school together for the first time. She expressed her happiness and her sadness. Her boys were becoming more self sufficient. Her post reminded me of a saying that has kept me going through my years of parenting:
There are two lasting gifts we can give to our children
One is roots
The other wings
This saying sat in my laundry room for years, and as I would be working I would reflect upon its meaning at that particular time in my children's lives.
I now have grandchildren and one day my daughter called me up. As soon as she said, "Mom," I could hear the tears in her voice. Her daughter was near a year and a half and had been in the process of weaning herself and that day wasn't interested at all in her mother's milk. My daughter was crushed. She and I had talked about the saying I had many times and so I quietly said it to her. She said, "Oh Mom, I don't want my daughter to even have a feather."
I smiled to myself with the tears coming for both us now --- thinking first we help our children put down roots so that eventually they can fly away.