Roots and Wings
Hodding Carter, who was a progressive journalist and author, and fellow Louisianian, is credited for saying, “[t]here are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.”
On the first anniversary of Sun’s birthday, I keep thinking to myself, “Roots and wings.” This year has gone by awfully fast. I have taken a lot of pictures, maintained her baby book, kept this blog, and kept a journal entitled, “The Story of You” for Sun when she gets older telling her of her “firsts”—her first trip to the park, the zoo, her first flight, her meeting her family members, her teeth coming in, her immunizations, her CT scan, her hemangioma treatment, her first Mardi Gras parade, her first Jazz Fest, her first night away from home—all the details of her life that I think she’ll find of interest when she is older.
But through it all, I am aware of my job, my goal: To raise Sun to leave me. To fly away with her wings. And to give her a foundation, roots, to ground her as she makes her own way in the world when the time is right.
How hard it is to be a parent, to give such love so freely, so willingly, to someone we KNOW we will “push” out of the nest. If the quickness of this one year is any indication, Sun will be out of my nest in hardly any time at all. My time with her is short and I need to make the most of it.
I know she will grow up and hate when I refer to her as my baby. I know because being the youngest of five, I have detested my parents calling me their baby girl for years. But not anymore. Now I know that when my parents look at their adult child, who they loved so tenderly when she wasn’t feeling well in the wee hours of the morning as a baby, they still see that sweet love of theirs reflected back in the face whose brow they’d wipe. I know Sun will fly away one day. But she’ll always have a piece of my heart with her. I can only hope when she does fly away, her roots keep her grounded. And connected to her parents.
Happy birthday, Sun. Momma loves you more than you will ever know until you have a child of your own.