Roots are a funny thing. We all have them. Some are deep and some are strong, others are battered and tattered. Some are old, some are new, others are in queue. My roots are everywhere, yet only here, in me.

Quite literally, my roots are Italian. And if you know anything about me, it’s that Italy is the only place I feel truly at “home”. My roots are in fierce women that came before me. My roots have been nourished by the love of my parents and decades-long friendships that have weathered many storms between countless happy moments. They are in my footprints in nearly 40 countries. They are in a young marriage and subsequent divorce. My roots are in a young girl who buried her stillborn son. They are in my son and daughter whose joy makes them grow, and whose pain makes them bend. They are in stories of love and heartbreak, growth and resilience. My roots are not grounded in any one particular foundation. They've been nurtured, broken, grown, and re-grown by the people and places that have made them. My roots are growing now and will be in the life that I am living today – not yet fully aware of how they will take shape for the future. And through it all, I am their keeper – I hold my roots.

We each hold our own roots, yet they are all connected. Somehow, someway, our stories intertwine. Our experiences branch off to help others – and in some cases, to hurt them. Often, the impact isn’t known or felt until long after the seed was planted.

Roots of Motherhood

We all come from something – a bloodline of people, a flashback of stories. While these roots are unchangeable, motherhood changes us. It kicks us into a bit of a higher gear and shifts priorities. The memories of our past selves, from life before motherhood, can sometimes make us feel like we are now living someone else’s life altogether (at least that’s how I feel) – I often find myself wondering how I went from her to me. Am I lost? Will I find her again when my kids are grown and flown? No, I won’t. She was then, I am now, who I will be is yet to be discovered – those roots are still taking shape.

Motherhood is like tending to a garden of roots – honouring our past selves while simultaneously trying to make sense of it all and planting seeds for our children – for their own roots to grow and blossom. It has a unique way of adding new layers to our roots. It asks us to dig deep – it teaches us patience, resilience, and the power of unconditional love. It's a journey of growth, both for ourselves and for the little ones we nurture and guide along the way. Just as roots anchor a tree, motherhood grounds us in the essence of who we are. It's a journey of self-discovery, where we learn to embrace the beauty of imperfection and find strength in vulnerability. Through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, our roots keep us grounded and remind us of our own resilience.

From the moment our children are born, we become their nurturers, their protectors, their guides. We plant seeds of love, kindness, and empathy, and watch in awe as they take root and begin to flourish. As mothers, we play a crucial role in shaping the foundations upon which our children will build their lives. We instill in them values that will serve as their compasses, guiding them through life's twists and turns. We provide them with the tools they need to navigate the world with courage, compassion, and resilience. And we can only hope that we get it right.

Legacy of our Roots

We have a responsibility to our roots and to what they will become after us. As I reflect on my own journeys and the paths that have led me to where I am today, I can’t help but wonder about the memories and experiences that my children will cultivate along their own ways. What adventures will they embark on? What joys will fill their hearts, what pains will break their hearts? What dreams will they chase? What memories will they hold? How will they honour their roots? Where will they call “home”? I can only hope that a piece of me and the roots that I’ve planted for, and with, them, will always be a part of their “home”, no matter where their journeys and paths take them.

As mothers, we’ll never know the full extent of their roots’ growth, but we can take comfort in knowing that we’ve had a vital role in nurturing their foundations and creating a connectedness of roots and stories – from ours to theirs and beyond.