Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roots and Wings

When I was little, I was a very shy person. I was more than Brayden shy and slow to warm up. I could be loud and raucous and fight like a holy terror, but away from my family, the shyness could be distressing and even agonizing. I will never forget sitting on the stairs of the split entry house my that my parents built the year after I was born and listening to my mom tell me that if I didn't start talking, I wouldn't pass first grade.

I never wanted to leave home, to grow up or for anything to change. I grew up in a place where my Grandpa built blocks worth of houses with his brothers and remembered our town as it grew up. I grew up in a place where my mom spent her growing years less than a mile from my dad. Her teachers were my teachers and my dads siblings came home to teach in some of the same schools. My parents grew up with my friends parents and we could find common genes in a far reaching bit of my classmates; my little sister and brother shared many of the same friends and my older sisters friends showed me kindness that my shyness made difficult to recognize.

Then something happened and I grew wings that couldn't wait to beat, couldn't wait to work, couldn't wait to fly. My roots were firmly established in our little town, but I needed to break away from the place that only knew me as quiet and held me boxed in; the place that I never wanted to change. If I wanted to change, I had to part from it. I went to college, to Europe and traveled across the country; lived in the north and the west and married a man from the south.

Occasionally that old shy-ness still comes up, prickling my feet with doubts, dusting my memory with a want for nothing to change, for that same security that I wanted never to leave. Looking back I can't say that I ever missed an opportunity that was important to me, but I laugh at the struggles a shy person wrestles with; the perceptions and impressions, the jumbles and the bumbles.

To provide roots for our family we have come closer to home than I have settled in a long time; close to the box that I wanted never to change. When my oldest son asks if we can stay home today, I fight all of the little shy homebody in me for him. I fight all of the urge to wrap myself up in my little families laugh, in my concern for the colds that make noses run and coughs unbearable. I fight the urge to steal the cover of the fog and not let anyone know we are staying under the covers today where nothing has to change and no one has to be social so that school is easier one day. I put Jack's little hat on while he smiles at me and tuck him into his car seat and hand him over to his dad, fighting the quite days that I still have sometimes when I leave the house; the days where I don't say more than three words all day. And I reward myself and my oldest with staying home tomorrow.

And we can snuggle on the couch while Sesame is on, read books in silly voices, smell little baby smells, dance silly dances and be as outrages as we want while we put down roots for our little boys; for our little boys who will some day grow wings.

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