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Roots and wings


“There are two things parents should give their children:

roots and wings” 

(J.W.v. Goethe)


Splish-splash go the tiny feet in the mud. First quite hesitantly, then with more enthusiasm. Water from the puddle splashes her face. After the first shock a wild laugh escapes, loud and full of joy! As if pure happiness has been transformed into sound.

A moment of bliss, so innocent and perfect that you wish it would last forever.

As parents, we wish our kids’ lives to be full of such memories. We wish for them to discover the world on their own two feet, step by step, sometimes taking giants leap of faith into unknown destinations.

Exploring the wonders of the world with eyes wide open, eyes that we hope will never be filled with tears.

As a parent, the responsibility for our children’s well-being comes with the territory, it’s what makes us parents - for better or worse :)

From the moment we know a baby is on the way our lives change. What used to be top priority is pushed aside and new dilemmas emerge: standard or enhanced prenatal examinations, will the baby sleep with me or in their own room, go quickly into daycare or stay at home for longer – is it possible to get everything right?

Probably not. And that's probably not our job as parents.

Roots and wings are what children should expect from their parents: in that we’d definitely agree with Goethe.

Roots like an old tree, roots that reach deep into the earth and could break through concrete. Wings that carry them, when we're not at their side, to lift them over hurdles. Wings that carry them to places where new adventures await, where they can forge ahead by themselves, beyond our protection, reaching new heights.

Roots remind us who we are and where we come from. We can't shape our children, but we can encourage them to be who they are. We can show them that everyone has strengths and weaknesses – and that these belong together. That we parents are not always perfect. Acknowledging that to them is perhaps the best example we can offer.

The tricker part is those wings - they’ll get them in any case, that’s almost certain. But what will they do with them? Where will they fly? How high will they soar? How badly will they crash? How strong are those wings and can we ever be sure we did everything we could to make them strong and agile enough?

Only time will tell and we will always be there, watching from afar as our children glide into uncertainty, watching and hoping for the best - hoping that the wind will blow steadily, that their wings will hold in the turbulence and extreme highs or lows. Whatever happens, we will be there.

Fledglings’ first attempts at flight are always clumsy, uncoordinated, ending perhaps with a few bent feathers. They need a protected space where they can try out their first few circuits, and someone to pick them up when they fall, smooth their feathers and encourage them to try again, flying higher and further.


We at Wildling Shoes want to be there right from the beginning – from children’s first step to their first attempts to fly, and then beyond!

Run Wild (and aim for the sky) :)

Anna, Ran and Team Wildling


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