Attachment theory places a child’s sense of belonging at the breast of the mother, or in the lap of the father.
But we’re all born with a need for attachment to a home that is far vaster than the nuclear family.
Imagine instead an attachment theory that knows the pain of being uprooted and adrift, and so honors the child’s need to be intimate with the place to which she’s born. This acknowledges the need of every child to plant her little being in a wild home of familiar forests, streams and constellations.
Envision a theory that bows deeply to the ancestors who breathed your child into life, and can speak at length about the devastating poverty of holding but a few drops of one’s rich bloodline.
See the theory stretch to also wrap around your child’ need for attachment to community, a diverse social ecology in which to develop all of her gifts. Here the theory acknowledges the ills of isolation and fragmentation, and grows its reach outwards, to the embrace of an extended family and a thriving village.
As it is, you and I may rate ourselves as securely attached in theory, yet feel curiously homeless. Well if you do, it’s of little surprise. To truly come home, our children–and ourselves–must attach to all of life.