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Roots and Wings Are Gifts We Give Our Children

Wise words about raising our children and then letting them go from Miriam Iwrey. Read more from Miriam on her blog.


There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.

Roots and Wings: raising our children

On my walk this morning I was acutely aware of the trees and birds; mostly as the leaves here in Chicagoland are starting to fall to the ground (seems awfully early to me). The variety of birds is amazing; cardinals, robins, chickadees, finches and falcons!  I saw all these birds on one walk!

Roots are the foundation we give our children.  Roots are the nourishment we provide on an ongoing basis. Not only food and shelter; loving relationships and parental unconditional love.  Our children over time realize that no matter what, they are loved.  What a gift to give and what a gift to receive.  Yes, there are times when our children make us want to pull our hair out but we have to remember it is their behavior that is causing this, not who they are as human beings.  It took me awhile to figure this one out and when I did it was empowering for both me and my son Ben.

Wings give our children the ability to go out in life and experiment.  Wings allow our children to make their own mistakes; remember all the mistakes we made growing up?  We have to embrace that we have done the best we can in providing our children with roots and curiosity about life.  We give our children freedom when we allow them to use their wings to make their own mistakes, to learn and grow.  We cannot do it all for them.

What is absolutely the best feeling is watching our children as they leave home, spread their wings, express appreciation for the foundation we have provided.  They don’t have to express it verbally–we just have to watch what they are doing and know we have given them the gifts of life that will allow for them to be the best they can be.

Roots and wings; who knew that these two very simple things mean everything to knowing our children are contributing citizens of the world.

Miriam Iwrey

20+ years practicing Social Worker (MSW) Certified Elite LIfe Coach Midlife Transition Consultant Midlifer Mom Wife Step-daughter Grandmother

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