Child 1 has just booked her gap year trip. She and a friend fly off to India at the end of March, from there they fly to Hanoi and have 12 weeks to work their way through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore before they hop over to Bali then finish up in Australia. They don't have a specific return date but do have to be home to start their next exciting chapter at University. I am so very proud, she has worked full time since finishing her A levels and has already saved enough to pay for her flights.
Although, I have known about roots and wings it is now that I am really appreciating the importance of both. However, what I am now poignantly aware of is that without roots our children can't really develop wings.Roots are so important, for all children. A safe, secure place where they can try new things, knowing that no matter what happens there is someone in the background to support and help them. So far, child one knows her roots and has found her wings. 2 and 3 are still learning about roots but, they know we are here for them, they are just beginning to try new things and looking for their place in the world and this can be tricky from a parenting view. But, therapeutic parenting is something that is built into developing roots. Unconditional love, gentle giving of praise, natural consequences. All these help our children to flourish and thrive. My birth childen of course have an advantage, they have only ever known our desire to give them roots enabling them to try and fly, knowing that we are there to help them when life goes wrong. Child 4 comes from a different place and we have to help him recognise where his safe roots are and that they actually exist. This is often difficult but also so very rewarding. With Christmas in the air, he is finding the change in routines and the building excitement overwhelming. He is clingy, demanding, quick to anger and just as quick to tears. But, he is learning to articulate his feelings. In between throwing his dinner at his sister, pulling chairs over and slamming doors he has told me, well screamed at me that he is angry and I am making it worse and in the midst of a "tantrum" he has sought out my lap as a means of regulating his rage, calming down almost as quick as losing his temper. It is these moments that give me hope, he knows that he is safe at home with us, he even very occasionally will just find me for a cuddle and will quietly say sorry for calling me a bum hole.
We have to work on the roots first, making sure that they are strong and stable, that they can withstand the ups and downs of life, before our children can attempt to fly, it's just sometimes so damn hard working on the roots.