Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roots and Wings

When I was younger, I moved around a bit.

Not "military brat" moving around, but enough that it impacted me.

I spent the first 13 years of my life in one town.  I had my friends & my "go to" places.  Everything was familiar & I had a sense of security.

And then...
Just like that, the rug was ripped out from under me & I had to start all over.  Not just once, but twice in one year.

If you read my last post (Dear Me:  You're so much cooler online) you can pick right up and understand that moving around as a kid SUCKED for me.  I also didn't have a stellar childhood or family life, but that's a whole other topic & probably something for a mental health professional to sort out.

I totally get the mental image of being uprooted!  Imagine a tree that's planted & has been in the same spot for 13 years.  Then you rip it out of the ground and try to plant it someplace else.
Yeah, doesn't work out so well....It always struggles to re-root & thrive.

At 13, I was removed from the comfort of the school I'd attended since kindergarten & deposited (halfway through 6th grade) into the local public school, only to be uprooted again and deposited into the public school system in a whole new town mid 7th grade.  Twice in full year's time I had to start from scratch.

Not an easy feat.  Not only because I was scared to death - but again, I did not have a stellar home life.  I had no secure "safe place".  I had to figure everything out all over again.

This became my life lesson and main motivator when dealing with my own kids.

I have lived in the same area for the past 16 years, and chances are I'll live here for the next 12 years and until all children have graduated high school.

Before you get all impressed about my staying put for so long - my town is 80+ square miles.  I've had some room to roam in this town.

I love where I live and am now settled where I am, but as with any other town - there are issues.  It's about being on top of the issues, not moving your kids around.  Heck when I was in high school there were drug busts weekly.  My step sister lived in a more upscale town with a "better school".  The only thing "better" was that they had the better, more expensive drugs.  I digress...

When my son was little he started off, as I did, in the local Catholic school.  Wow, now that I'm writing this, I see it in a different way, hmm.  His start was similar to mine, except I kept him in the same town, with the same friends.  (You can do a lot with 80 square miles)  Anyway, in 3rd grade we had some issues with the Catholic school/church (you can read about that here) so I put him in the local public school & into a private school until high school.  I tried to keep things as even for him as I could.  Same friends, same area.  Our life was total chaos.  I did whatever I could to find as much normalcy for him as possible.  Roots.

I also slowly gave him small freedoms.  A few at a time so he could learn how to be without me.

He had no problem spreading his wings & of course got into some teenage trouble.  What teenager doesn't test the waters?  Happily, he is now a wonderful, well adjusted young man.

All kids will test the waters, but they need to learn to fail and fix it on their own as well.  They also need to know they have a soft place to land when it's too much for them to handle.

Now I have the girls.  My daughter & the short one.  If the short one stays (fingers crossed) she will also remain in this town until graduation.

My school of thought on this is that they develop a sense of security.  To some degree, they know what to expect.  Consistency.

These things didn't come easily for me as a child.  No, I didn't have the same home life that I work to give my kids now.  I had to "reset" so many times that it screwed me up a bit.

I had no consistency and in my young adult life.  I kept moving because that's what seemed normal to me.  All I had was wings without roots.

Each part is as important as the other.

The roots to know who you are, where you're from and what you stand for.

The wings to know that you aren't bound to your spot.  That you have the ability to soar.

Roots & Wings.

Thank you for reading my blog!



  1. My family moved every 4 years as my dad's job forced relocation back and forth from the east coast to the west coast, so I can relate to much of this. You do gain some strengths from moving and being forced to adjust, but I always wished my roots could have stayed in one place during school and as a place to return to after I left the roost.

  2. I hear you. I went to 10 different schools from Kindergarten through College; though 2 of the schools were back in the same town as I was in before so some of the kids remembered me. Not because of the military, but rather from a divorced home with a mom who was just trying to survive the best way she could with two kids, barely any child support and refused to go on welfare. It was Tough with a capital "T". As much as the small town has it's own drawbacks and disadvantages, my kids are rooted here until they spread their own wings and fly. I just couldn't do to them what I had to endure with each move.


Posting via
Thank you for checking it out!