Buds, branches, and duct tape

“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”  ~Pauline R. Kezer

OK, I confess, I am a “quote junkie.” I regularly use the recorded wisdom of someone else to help me start my day on a positive note, change my perspective, or to inspire me to be a better wife, mother, woman, teacher, etc. 

Another confession, I like to share them, too. Hence, a category for “Inspired Transitioning.”

As I mull over Pauline Kezer’s words, I am reminded of the importance of consistent parenting, especially during the transition years. I know constant love feeds the roots of my children, and without healthy roots, there can be no growth. Additionally, just as trees need regular pruning, children need consistent discipline. I believe regularly enforced limitations and discipline nourishes their “roots” as much as couch cuddle time. As my teens mature, they naturally rebel against the boundaries and rules set by me and my husband.  And naturally, we don’t always appreciate this  turbulent “growth.” It can feel disrespectful, frustrating, exhausting, and even a bit scary. It makes me long for the days when rebellious battles were over vegetables, shoes, and baths, rather than homework, cell phones, and chores. In hindsight, their battles over vegetables and baths were clearly the early buds of autonomy.

It’s tempting to resist change, but branches will never grow if the buds are kept from blossoming.  Through blind faith, the wisdom of our parents, friends, books, and quotes, we have survived all their steps toward autonomy thus far. And, if we stay the course, we may just make it through these years as well. I wonder, though, can  branches still grow if their buds are occasionally wrapped in duct tape when I’m too tired to prune?

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