The Rootless Ones

I have confession to make.

It's not much of a confession, as far as confessions go.  Generally speaking, confessions ought to be at least somewhat of a surprise, right?  Or at least involve some sort of naughtiness?  This one just involves confusion, mostly.  And guilt.

I guess it's the guilt that makes it a confession.


My confession is this: I don't understand roots.

Or perhaps- I don't know how to do roots.

I am the military brat progeny of two military brats.  My husband is also a military brat by way of at least one military brat.  We are really, truly, not from anywhere, and the culture of our childhoods is not one that we can go back and visit on a whim, because our dependent ID cards were revoked when we turned 21.

We bought a house in this town, after years of wandering for the both of us, with the idea of staying here long term- of settling down, if you will.  Putting down roots.  Four years later a little shoot popped out, young and tender and easy to transport.  Rootless, just like us.

Before he was born- before he was even conceived, we'd talked about our fears regarding raising a child in one place, without moving every three years.  We have no experience with that- we're not sure how to do it.  All we knew is that there are people in the world, people we have met, who have lived their whole lives never leaving the county they were born in- the same county their parents were born in- and they are content with that.  And that concept chilled us to the bone: we wanted more for our child.  Better.

Hence the importance of budgeting for travel.  We want to make sure he is exposed to other places, other cultures, other peoples.  We want to make sure he can adapt and thrive wherever he is planted.

And I worry I will fail at that, because the only way I know how to do it- the way it was done for me- is not what I can do for him.  And what I can do for him- will it work?

And I worry that there will be such a disconnect between us- that he will have roots and ties to a specific place, a specific house, a specific town, and I will not be able to understand it, and he will suffer from that lack of understanding.

I guess all we can do is try.


  1. Never do we as parents feel we are giving our children all that we want to provide them with. That seems to be a universal trait. We who live in one place worry they will wander away and be lost. We who move frequently wonder if they will ever learn to love the wanderlust or if they will conversely develop roots so deep they will not be moved. sigh, You & Nathan will provide that lovely Neeps with both roots and wings. I have no doubt that we will enjoy watching that young one grow deep and still love to soar.

    1. You are a balm for the worry-wart soul! <3