Roots and Wings

As the mom of an increasingly active 13 month old boy, I see more and more each day that children are part of an ironic circle. My mom, who, by the way, is the most patient person I know, used to say "One day you'll have a child just like you" when she would get frustrated over my actions as a teenager. I always knew the unspoken meaning was 'just wait; you'll get a taste of your own medicine', but I never fully understood until Jackson's first birthday. I guess that Mississippi Mud cake and ice cream he had did more than just make him bounce off the walls for an hour! When he woke up the next morning it was as if his personality had just bloomed like a flower overnight. No longer was he just the baby that ate what I fed him, slept when i put him in his crib, and played on his play mat without objection. Suddenly he turned up his nose to green beans, stood as the edge of the crib screaming, and decided it would be more fun to rip pages out of the phone book than stack blocks. My little baby turned into a little person, complete with his own ideas, opinions, expressions, and a darling sense of humor. I had no idea raising a child would be so much work; I had no idea it would be so much fun... The other side to the ironic circle is that I never really appreciated my mom and everything she did for me until I became a mom myself. How do you hold a child close enough to the ground for their roots to create a firm foundation to stand on for the rest of their lives, then when it's time, cut them loose - give them wings to fly, and hope you've established the best balance of the two? Somehow my mom found that balance and now its up to me to find it for Jackson. James Baldwin once said "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but have never failed to imitate them." In the end I'm just here to give him his roots and wings.