Thirty Day Blogging Challenge prompt:
It has been said that all we can give our children is roots and wings. The wings are important as they will let the child soar to whatever heights his spirit, imagination and perseverance can take him. But the roots are what I am most comfortable with. Roots keep the child grounded. Roots provide a comforting and safe home-base to return to when his wings get tired. Family and societal traditions are the roots we give our children.
Some of our family's favorite traditions are being awakened by the family singing "Happy Birthday" to you on the morning of your birthday, opening one present on Christmas Eve, and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Of all of our family's traditions I would have to guess that my children's favorite is fireworks.
It shouldn't surprise me that my sons are pyromaniacs of a sort. I think most men are. And to be able to burn things and blow them up and do so in a manner that is socially accepted as with fireworks is a treat sweeter than a dripping ice cream cone.
When the boys were very little I would hold tight to them while Daddy set of fireworks. As they got older we let them play with sparklers. Yes, they held them a bit close to their bodies -- once. They learned quickly.
Now they're old enough to help set off the fireworks. They've learned all the rules about setting them up in a safe place which, in our neighborhood usually means in the street. They've learned the importance of getting away quickly once you've lit the fuse and staying away even if you're almost certain that one's a dud.
I can see in their eyes this is a tradition they love. They love being old enough to continue in the tradition of blowing things up just like their father and grandfathers did. And I can see their spirits soar into the air with the roman candles, bursting into an explosion of beautiful color as I hope their lives do.
Of course, as a mom I worry that they'll blow off a hand. Or worse, put an eye out.
Nevertheless, I stand back and let Dad be the safety expert, ensuring they're taking all reasonable precautions and not letting Mom's fears weigh them down.
I know I have to let them grow up. I cannot keep them on the porch with sparklers forever. Fireworks are an important tradition that root them to the other men in the family and still let their spirits soar like the fireworks themselves.
Giving them roots was easy. Letting them soar is the hard part.
Copyright © 2011 Denise Duggan