Saturday, February 2, 2008

Flight Patterns, or Relearning How to Use Your Own Wings

It is an undeniable fact of life that our babies have souls which begin to sprout wings, from the very moment at which they are born. As parents, we spend much of their childhoods trying to maintain and clip those wings in an effort to keep them from becoming overgrown before their time. We fuss, we bother, we trim, and we pray, that the wings that our children's spirits grow will provide them with all of the lightness that their dreams may carry, but also the weight to know when it is time to stay grounded for a while. We do the best we can to provide a nest which is warm and safe and dry. We slowly nudge them from that nest, in hopes that we will someday be able to watch them soar, flying confidently on their own.

But as parents, what do we do about our own wings? As we become the nurturers, what happens to the wings which are still very much a part of our own souls? This is something that I have been contemplating, for the past several years, as I gently stood back to witness angel daughter number one take to the skies on her own, and I am now anticipating angel daughter number two's departure in the fall. Here she stands at eighteen years old, hanging on the precipice of life with her wings in the ready position. Here I stand, watching with a Mothers eye, and hoping, just hoping, that I have done enough. Enough to set her free. Enough to know that she has exactly what she needs. And enough to continue my own journey towards dusting off my wings, and showing my girls, that mommies can also take flight. In many ways, this is an important time in all of our lives, as we are all on the verge of a test-flight. Our children, because of the newness that using their wings alone brings, and us, because of the fact that we must shake off some layers of dust.

I have four more years before my nest will be completely empty. Four more years to watch as angel daughter number three and finally, angel daughter number four get ready to take flight. At that point, it will have been almost twenty five years since the only wings which I had to concentrate on, were my own. I am both nervous and excited about reinventing myself at that time. I look forward to not only, witnessing what my daughters will become, but also, witnessing my own ability to take flight, in a totally different direction than ever before in my life.

So, I would like to know...What will you do with your wings, as the air-currents change in your own life? Where do you see yourself in five years, and how will you use your wings to get there? Regardless of what may have caused you to tuck away the wings of your soul, how will you use them when you feel ready to soar into a new phase of life?

May you take the time to nurture your own hopes and dreams, and may you never, ever clip your own wings.


Grammie Hoffman in WA said...

That is so profound! I must reread a few times and digest it. Some of us had wings clipped before we were able to soar on our own.

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I have a feeling that your angels will soar in the teachings and love that you have given them. I can't imagine them being anything but graceful in their flight.

As for me, my life changes every two years so it is hard to know where I will be in five. I hope that wherever I am led next will be a place of joy and peace.

melissa @ the inspired room said...

Hi girlfriend. That is so beautiful and so appropriate for me! My oldest daughter is nearly 20 and is taking many test flights in college, basically flying on her own now! My middle daughter is 16 so she is flapping away (still cannot imagine her leaving me. not yet). And then my son is flapping away just because he spreads his wings to jump off couches. He still has a good ten or eleven years (gulp) before I expect him to stay in flight for longer than it takes him to hit floor! Seven year old boys are like that, jumping and trying to fly long before they are able. It must be their wild nature.

But, as you know, with daughter number one flying the coup to college I started dusting off the old wings. Doing some flapping of my own! I feel quite strange about that, but creating my own office, my OWN SPACE is making me SMILE! My own space! Can you imagine my happiness? For 20 years it has been about what is best for the children. It still is about that, of course, but to actually take a room in our house and say it is MINE is a sign of wings flapping and dust flying. I was a younger mom (21) so I really have very little experience with flying at all. I flew right into marriage the first time! Ah, yes, I was a romantic. And with spreading out my children in age, this time of flying has been a long time coming. I'm sure to hit a few trees in the process.

Love to you as you get flapping too. Where are you headed? :-)


Alison said...

Beautiful post Debbie!! Five five years my darling daughter will be testing her wings and begin her solo journey....I hope I make through the next 5 years as she takes her test flights!!
My son will be beginning his teenage years....I can't fathom it!!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Ths past year has already made me take my wings out for a test run. As you know, leting CJ soar off has been very hard for me. But I find that with each new day, I learn to adjust my wings to this new kind of normal. And surprisingly, because CJ is sooo happy, my wings are not heavy with saddness but light with peace.

When it's Connor's time in 4 years to soar into the unknown, I 'm sure my wings will droop for a bit. But I know that I will eventually use them to fly high into the next chapter of my married life and that they will allow me to swoop in from time to time to check on my little guys.

No matter where they may go in mife, my mom wings will get me to them...


Debra w said...

Grammie Hoffman,

Yes, I understand that there are many who have had their wings clipped before they were ever able to soar the first time. After your children left home, did you do anything out of the ordinary, for yourself, that allowed you to spread your wings a bit? No matter how small, or how bold that might be, it counts! Thank you for your sweet comments, lately! I appreciate your visits.

Ms. Scarlett,

You are still quite young, and with a hubby in the military, you will have to force yourself to change flight patterns at times that you don't want to, or aren't ready for.(like your move from CT!) With the wonderful, free spirit that you have, I just know that you will soar regardless of where you end up.


Like you, I married fairly young. I was 22, but we met as freshman in college and never left each others sides after that. I was a bit older than you when I became a mom, 24, almost 25, so I had a bit more time, but I was definitely flapping in my years before that. Once I became a mom, I found that I was in my own element. I was exactly where I was supposed to be for the next 18 plus years, and still am. I am just anticipating this next phase, as I am totally unprepared for it. I think that what you are doing, by setting up your own space is a wonderful start! Heck, with all that you have been accomplishing these days, I just know that you will be well on your way to amazing things when your baby leaves the nest!

Oh yes, I am sure that I will be hitting lots of trees in the next few years!


You still have plenty of time, but it does go fast, as you know. When the kids are younger, the last thing that we can think about is where we will be in five years, so trust that when the time comes to figure it out, you will do great!

I truly appreciate your thoughtful, wonderful comments! You gals are the best, the very best! You all give me so much to think about and I love that.

Big hugs,

Ness said...

Deb, PROMISE ME when you put all these phenomenal blog writings of yours into a book, I will get an autographed copy. You rock, sistah-friend!

Although my eldest is almost 31, I'm just now trying to get my wings back in working order, at least her section. It is time for her to fly as my wings cannot carry her anymore.

If the kids didn't put my wings in retreat, the illnesses have. But I'm pulling each feather out slowly, blowing off the dust and easing it back into it's wing position. When my son graduates in May and gets commissioned, it will be time for him to move back to Virginia where he grew up and time for me to get about the business of flexing my wings. I will treasure this writing of yours forever, for I just realized that my father, too, clipped my wings and even though I tried to lift off, it never happened, not even when I married.

This blog entry will serve as my flight summons to get all feathers in order and prepare to fly. For if I don't fly soon, I never will.

You are such a blessing to me. I hope you're having a great day.

Irene Latham said...

Deb, you may not realize it, but raising these girls, you've been flying all along. So so happy you popped up in my skies. And I look forward to hearing about all the new places you'll go. xxoo

tj said...

...Hello Miss Debra! This post is so beautifully written, as all of them are... I would hope that when you begin to dust off your wings and learn to soar again that you will do so in a book! Your writings are so inspirational, eloquent, profound, true...I am in awe when I read. You have a gift and truly ARE a gift! :o)

...Oh my goodness, I would be tickled to death in five years from now to be successfully selling my work and making a name for myself, adopting or mentoring a needy child, owning a horse, growing and selling pumpkins and eggs (of course I wouldn't be growing eggs - my hens would take care of that! lol...;o) and just living a simple life for as long as God will let me! lol... ;o) How about you Debra?

...I just love coming here - you are a blessing to me...

Irene Latham said...

Hi Deb - figures that we share the same philosophy on aunt-hood since we share the same philosphy on other important stuff too! Happy day to you...

kim-d said...

Hi Debra~I have been reading your blog since I followed the link from Hallie one day; until today I have just been a lurker, or possibly one previous comment--not sure. I am drawn here everyday, by way of my "Favorites" list, because of your beautiful way with words, your beautiful angel daughters and the caption "All because two people fell in love", which is a personal favorite of mine, too.

Today, I HAD to comment to let you know that this is possibly the most wonderfully profound post I have ever read. WOW seems to be a childish descriptive word to use but, nonetheless, WOW.

Dusting off the wings, for me, has been an ever-changing process, and I know it will continue to be. And it just gets better and better all the time. Adult children and/or stepchildren (to me, they are all the same), are incredible. And those grandchildren? Be still my heart. And my life now, both when I'm with them and when I'm not? Excellent. And blessed. Very, very blessed.

Thank you for sharing with us, Debra!

Kari & Kijsa said...

This is absolutley beautiful! Time flies, and this post should be the flight manual!

kari & kijsa

Debra w said...


Beautiful comment! I love what you wrote. You are a very brave mom, and it shows in your boys confidence in themselves.


Very insightful. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize that we are carrying more than we can handle. I think that you will be doing both your daughter and yourself a favor by telling her that it is time for her to fly on her own.


Thank you. As always your words are both encouraging and profound.


I love that you come here, and I appreciate each and every comment that you leave.

Your goals sound very "doable", so I have no doubt that you will achieve whatever you set your heart and mind to. I would LOVE to see you mentor or adopt a child. I just know that you would be a blessing to any child who would be lucky enough to have you!


I am so glad that you "de-lurked" to leave me such a wonderful comment! I am humbled by your very kind words. It is so lovely to "meet" people who are so happy in their own lives. You inspire me with your joyful spirit!

Please continue to say hello in the future! Your thoughts are very important to me.

Kari and Kijsa,

Thank you so much. Time does fly and we do not realize it when it's happening. I appreciate your very kind comment.

And to everyone who comes here to read, but not comment, I hope that you will say hello! I am so inspired by the thoughts and comments that I receive. You are all very special individuals who have your own experiences to share. I love hearing what you have to say.

Love and hugs,

Grammie Hoffman in WA said...

Deb Dub,
I hate to be a "doom and gloom" person >> I was married to a controlling, violent, mentally abusive man for many years. Left him and Went into law enforcement for an ego boost, had to have that badge and uniform! After crashing and burning a few times, I flew (somewhat lopsidedly!).
Been retired for awhile, maybe I should get the duster out!?

Catherine Holman said...

I'm going to take it slow and enjoy life. I've read and heard that women really accomplish more during this time of their lives. I think it's because we aren't so hurried and can take time now to enjoy what ever it is we decide to do.

Alison said...

I have something for you...come on over!!

kim-d said...

Hi Debbie~~Just had to stop by and say hi. I've been thinking of you today, and hope you're having a good day!

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

Where is my debra? I miss reading her cozy posts!

tj said...

...Hello Miss Debra! Just checking in on you - hope you're feeling well...

...Oh, and also to let you know that you've been tagged - by me! lol... ;o)

...Blessings... :o)

Alison said...

Hi Deb, you are so sweet to check in on me! Yes, I am doing fine, the kids are finally better and back to school and I am back to work!! That is a good thing because I only work part time and if I take a day off work I don't get paid!! How are you doing?

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