When You're Root Bound

It was bound to happen, 
this natural part of life.
You put down roots, deep deep roots, over time,
and look at what happens.

This schefflera has been in this pot 
for about as long as I've been at my current school.
Minding its own business, doing its job.
Growing taller and going deeper 
with every moment, day, month, year that passes. And now, it's 
root bound.
Check out the way its purple roots are sprawling into the pea gravel.
It has outgrown its home.
It's not like it happened overnight, 
but this morning for the first time I noticed it. 
Have I been too busy to pay attention? 
Maybe I just wasn't ready to see what it needed. 
Or strong enough to do anything about it.

Clearly it's time for a transplant.

It's bound to hurt a little lot, 
when it has to leave the comforts of its blue pot.
But this plant will improve, be better, thrive
in a bigger space with more room to grow.
Makes me think of graduation.
 A bittersweet sea of blue.
Marking a milestone.
An ending.
And a beginning.
At once happy ...  and sad.
My transplant really hit close to home 
at Kindergarten graduation last night.

Look at the adorableness I found in my archives.
I was holding my own, meeting and greeting, 
welcoming our families to this celebration,
basking in the delight of my littles as they'd squeal my name,
 as if they hadn't seen me in forever.
And then, the reminder: 
So, this will be your last Kindergarten graduation.
Time to transplant.
What are you waiting for; let's get growing.
And I couldn't catch my breath.
It felt as though someone with a sharp, sheering shovel was 
digging deep, really deep,
to get me out of that blue clay pot.
But I'm comfortable in here.
Hey, be gentle.
Really comfortable.
I'll do better.
Stop it.
Needless to say, but I will anyway, 
the flood gates opened and I spent the night sobbing.
My poor husband didn't know what to do.
The good news? 
There are therapeutic benefits to crying your eyes out.
It was a big ugly cry, 
'cause I'm gonna miss that small blue pot.
A lot.
So when I woke up with a puffy face and a dull headache, 
I decided to take a mental health day, 
to rest, regroup, and reflect on my new normal.

Am I eager, excited even, to move to the bigger space 
to nurture the seeds we've planted? 
But is my heart breaking a bit 
as I say goodbye to and let go of the familiar? 
No doubt.

So for today, I'm going to join these mindful little leaders 
and Just Breathe.

Well, I may take a walk, a bath, and a nap, too.

What strategies do you use to survive thrive through those transplants
when you find you're root bound?


  1. The plant is a wonderful metaphor for you. You've done all you can where you are and now it's time to do something new. You are needed in this school and it will challenge you. Having a good cry and taking care of yourself is good way to let go of your feelings and clear the new space you will need inside you to take on this wonderful challenge. You've been called and have accepted. Doesn't mean it will be easy, but you will be encouraging a new and older group of kids to embrace life and realize their potential as superheroes.

    A Metta: May you be happy. May you be strong. May you be safe. May you be peaceful!

  2. I'd be worried if you weren't grieving. As counselors, we care deeply and strive to make our students skills grow wide. While students move from class to class, teacher to teacher each year, we are one constant person that remains the same as they move through the grades. Our hearts break when little hearts are breaking, but we have eager ears to listen and a toolbox full of strategies to teach so that our students learn to cope and become independent in doing so. We serve teachers, support staff, families and most importantly precious souls who come through our doors each day. I don't want you to leave your "blue pot" either! Your "blue pot" needs you! And yet. And yet. I can imagine all of those students and families at your other campus celebrating what you will bring to their lives next year. Sending some sunshine and water for your new "soil" so you can continue to grow. :)


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!