Friday, October 11, 2013

Declaration of Independence

From the day I was born--until I was about 42--I was not a very independent person.
I depended greatly on the opinions and assistance and APPROVAL--of others--friends, parents, my husband—and, I made most of my decisions according to what they told me to do.
It wasn't that I didn't HAVE an opinion--I most certainly did--I just never felt like I was allowed to voice it. I lacked confidence. I never learned how to make a decision--and often made bad ones. I wasn't able to be honest with my parents and was always more concerned with boys--and the opinions of boys--than grades or reputation or self worth.

I obviously have come a long way in the last 8 1/2 years.
But, because of those many overly dependent years, I was determined to raise my kids differently.
I was honest about my mistakes with them. I helped them make decisions by asking them what they could do now that they would never be able to do again. I let them experience the consequences of poor decisions. I didn’t want them to NEED me or to always DEPEND on me--or need or depend on anybody else for that matter! I wanted them to LEARN HOW to make good decisions, to learn to TRUST their instincts, to learn how to SPEAK UP for themselves and to become completely independent as they crossed over into adulthood. I held them close, but didn't coddle. I helped them learn to help themselves. Yes, I taught them to fish...
I also told them that they could do ANYTHING! That they could go ANYWHERE! That the world was full of opportunities and places to go and things to do...and they were allowed--and encouraged--to wait to get married, travel the have their own dreams...
and make them come true. 
And, apparently, it worked.
Both of my kids are independent—financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually. They have made good decisions. They know how to speak up for themselves. They trust their instincts. At 28 and 30 years old, they are college educated, employed, well traveled, single and free to do whatever they like. And they are happy and healthy and productive….and enjoying life.
Oh so independently…
Of course this also means that I don’t see them very often and don’t hear from them very much.
From what I’ve heard, if you do parenting right, you’re supposed to work your way out of a job.
I know that I did a good job parenting.
And I know that they are good people because of that.
Though very independent, they are SURROUNDED by friends and activity and laughter and love.
And so am I.
I know that they know that I am ok. They know that I am working a job I love and traveling the world and I know that they are happy that I am happy.
Maybe, too, they both realize that I have finally learned the lessons that I was teaching them all along. 

1 comment:

Sonja said...

You raised two fantastic, awesome kids! Definitely something to be so proud of!!!