Magical CreatureLessons: #25

Roots & Wings

Ann Litts


Photo by Roan Lavery on Unsplash

I haven’t written a new chapter in this series for a while. And the reason is crystal clear. The Magical Creatures just aren’t around as much anymore. They are growing up and now have lives, friends, after school-activities, and play various sports.

But then I thought, “Well, this is what we do as parents, right? If we’re really good at it — we work ourselves right out of the job.” I tried to do my best to protect my kids when they were under my care so that they could send out their roots into a firm foundation and thus be nourished. I cheered every accomplishment even knowing full well that every successful endeavor took them farther and farther from home. From me.

And now, I’m watching the very same pattern repeat itself as my daughter and son-in-law live out this process of support and freedom to explore. They are doing it much better than I ever did and I can’t tell you how proud of them I am. Rock Star Parenting 401 — truly, a Master’s level class.

However, one day, they will experience The Fear — as they hand their daughters the keys to the car. One day, they will experience their own empty nest — as they drop The Magical Creatures off at their college of choice. One day, they will watch with tears in their eyes — as my son-in-law hands his most precious possession over the care of another man.

One day, they will watch their children fly from the nest and they will hope with their entire being that they were able to give their children roots as well as wings. Roots that will lead them back to their parents to share the joys and sorrows of their journey to adulthood.


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