“There are 2 gifts a parent can give a child: the first is roots, and the other is wings”
I’ve always liked that idea and feel strongly about this having received both growing up. I think that each of these gifts are important and are one of the best investments parents can make in their child.
These are both weighty topics, and I think each deserves its own attention, so for this post I am going to talk just about roots.
I feel like I am in a root season right now. I’ve bought a house that is a fixer-upper and that process has been a fun one for me. Thankfully, I am not doing the renovations but the company I am working with is doing some beautiful work with some downtrodden raw material. I knew when I bought it there were a lot of things that would need to be repaired, not just beautified, but I fell in love with the house the minute I walked into the first room.
The mantle around the fireplace in the living room looks just like one in my grandmother’s house where my dad grew up. It’s not a typical style, and something I don’t think I’d seen anywhere else. It likely wouldn’t catch the eye of most, but for me it meant that this house would be a sweet reminder of my childhood.
The house where my dad grew up burned to the ground just a few years after my family sold it. When I visited there as a child, it felt like a mansion with gigantic ceilings and wide bedrooms. Many family gatherings on holidays took place there and much of the house has stayed in my senses. I can smell pot roast and rolls cooking in the kitchen. I can hear the hollowness echoing to the basement as we walked across the floors. I can see the white porcelain tub with antique fixtures in the bathroom.
My dad’s roots were in that home, and my childhood was rooted in that home. I spent many nights there with my grandmother and cousins and that home holds so many memories. Today, there is just one home anyone in my family still owns and lives where I have childhood memories. So, for those places that were so dear and prominent in my youth, I miss being able to visit those today.
My grandmother’s house held a lot of lessons about the Bible and church. She went every Sunday, as did I when I spent a Saturday night with her. She quoted scripture often and I still pray “Whatever time I am afraid, I put my trust in Thee” over and over when I’m scared. I was taught in this house about my grandfather, who died before I was born. I was taught about my family, and who they were, and where I come from. I was taught about my roots in that home.
Roots are an important concept to me. These childhood places and people and memories shaped me and there were so many lessons learned. My roots plunge deep into a ghost of a home that was filled with faith, love, family, and food. So, now, I get to have a seedling of those roots in my new home. A visual reminder of such a special place in my life. I wish my grandmother were still alive to see how those roots will continue to bear fruit.
Read Part 2