When you’re someone like me, someone with depression and anxiety, it’s easier to close myself off. Hide from the world. It’s something I never want my kids to ever do. I’m doing my best to raise my kids so they want to leave my nest. Crazy thought, right? Not really. Let me try to explain….
Doing my best to raise my kids so they want to leave my nest
As I journey through life with depression, I find myself attached to things. Not really shoes, and clothes. More, old toys from my youth. The home I’ve been living in for years with my family. It’s harder for me to understand home isn’t the house, but my people. Home is a feeling, it’s not a place. You can feel home in so many places, and with so many different people.
It’s how I want my kids to think. I never want them to think this house we live in, is “home.” I want them to understand, and embrace the knowledge, what makes this house a true home is the people in it. The love shared between the people inside the wood, nails, and siding.
I’m doing my best to raise my kids to not become attached to places, but to experience home in a variety of different people, experiences, and locations. Yes, home is where your heart is, but your heart can feel home in so many different situations. Home can be with friends at college. So many kids live in dorms, and meet amazing people in those buildings, and feel at home. Why? It’s not that the dorms are awesome, and provide luxuries and things. It’s because they’ve found friends who speak to their hearts, and souls. It’s home because of their people, not the dorm.
Finding home in more than just your blood family
Of course, while my little sunflowers are living in this nest I’ve created, I want them to feel safe, loved, and wanted. However, I do my best to teach them this is just a house. Wherever we live, even if we have to move from this house, we will still be home. Wherever our people are, is where home is. When we spend days and days with my parents, that’s home. If we’re hanging in a hotel on vacation, that’s home. People we love, hearts that connect with our hearts, and souls that recognize each other = HOME.
When you can find home no matter where you “live,” your original nest is just easier to fly from, isn’t it? If you’re not attached to “things,” it’s easier to travel, and experience the world. Does it kill me inside, just a little bit, to think of my little sunflowers living far away from me? Like you wouldn’t believe. However, isn’t that a part of parenting? Sacrificing what you want, so your kids can have lives they have always wanted?
Technology might make flying free from the nest a bit easier
Skype. FaceTime. Airplanes. Trains. All of these things make flying free from the nest a bit easier. Back when my Nana chose to leave Australia with her new American husband in the 1940s, technology wasn’t available to “see” her family through a computer screen. All she had was long distance phone calls, and the promise of visiting when she could. She left her mother, three sisters, extended family, to start her married life in the United States.
The choice is still a difficult one these days, but technology makes the decision a little easier. Wherever my sunflowers decide to travel to, or plant roots, I know they’ll understand there are “homes” all around them. Wherever I am, they have a home. If there are loved ones, home is always there.
What would hurt me more than having them spread their wings and fly, is to have them thinking they have to clip their wings and stay right here, with me. Sure, I’m a huge fan of the place I live, and have chosen to live. However, they aren’t me. I see in their eyes when we travel, how much they love to see new things. How easily they make friends. Once I realized these little facts about my children, I knew doing my best to raise my kids so they want to leave my nest, was the best thing for both of them.
Perhaps, when they’re older, teleporting will be a real thing? Here’s hoping.