I’m wondering lately if my children are “rooted” because it seems like something parents should do for their kids, and I don’t know if I did it, really.

I’m wondering what it means, even, to be rooted. I’m thinking it has to do with giving the wee ones a sense of security, a feeling of family and tradition, a foundation of … something? Faith? Self-esteem? Confidence? Education?

I’ve been to the conferences, the ones that talk about giving our kids roots, and I think these might be some of the things they mean. I was at a homeschool conference once that was titled Roots and Wings: Giving Them Roots So They Can Fly. Which is a cool thing to say until you realize that it’s impossible. Roots and wings don’t go together.

They are two different things, you see. If you are rooted, you can’t fly. But I get the point of the conference, and I I’ve probably wished for both of these things for my own kids. Maybe I’d say roots and harvest, or something else besides wings, or maybe it’s just the nerdy word geek in me, making a fuss about nothing.

Honestly, though, I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit.

And you know what? You know what really brings rootedness? Rain.

You can create the sweetest garden with the highest fence to keep out the deer and the best organic compost available and you can plant with the highest quality heirloom seeds, but without rain it’s just… unrealized.

I planted some flowers this spring. I cleaned the old, used up dirt out of my pots and I went to the greenhouse and bought the most expensive dirt they had and I planted those little baby geraniums and moss roses and a few snap dragons because my youngest son loves them the best. I snuggled them into the dirt and put them in the sun and I watered them with some pretend rain, and all those babies floated up and out of the dirt because there hadn’t been enough water on them yet to settle everything into place.

The dirt was too new and perfect and the plants weren’t rooted.

There are so many things kids need to grow up and thrive, but without a little rain, none of it will matter much. I want to keep my kids from drowning, that’s for sure. But trying to keep my kids from getting wet, it turns out, might be the worst thing I could do.