Getting to the Roots

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By Heidi Hess

How do I talk about this without talking about this? That’s what is going through my head right now. I love writing the Mommy Moments column for AroundWellington.com but a lot of my kids personal life is put out there and this is a sensitive subject- especially since they are teenagers. 

The friend thing with the kids can be wonderful. I love seeing them gel with other people their age but when things go south, as they do some times, it’s heartbreaking. I can’t tell you how many times I had people say to me (before I had kids) that having children is like letting your heart walk around on the outside of your body. You feel things ten times harder. That is the absolute truth. 

A recent incident that was friend related reminded me of that. And it got me thinking. I’ve been so focused on my kids developing friendships, did I teach them to walk away when peoples actions don’t match their words? Have I taught them how important it is that they protect themselves from people that say they are your friend but act otherwise? 

Time for another cliche/metaphor… Friendship is a tree. Some friends are leaves, there for a season. Some friends are the branches. And some are roots, there in the beginning, there at the end, there during storms… but always there. 

Maybe it’s time I make sure the kids know to every once in a while look at their tree. Is the tree sparse? Spindly? Or does it look healthy and strong? Don’t waste your time tending to the leaves and neglect the roots. If we want our kids to have healthy relationships we have to model what they look like. 

So, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be out back, with the kids, standing at the base of my tree, watering and fertilizing my roots.