adjective: free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority
Last week my youngest, my baby, got her drivers license. I have been looking forward to this day for literally years. Years of getting up early to drive kids here and going to bed late to drive them there. I have four children. I have been driving them to doctors appointments, pre-school, elementary school, junior high, high school, ballet lessons, football practice, baseball practice, music lessons, games, after school activities, (don’t even get me started on the orthodontist) and friends houses for nearly twenty-five years. So this is FREEDOM…….I cried all day. And a little the next day too, if I’m to be perfectly honest. One more milestone I thought I was ready for…that took the wind right out of me yet again.
Oh how I remember getting my own license on my sixteenth birthday. It doesn’t feel like yesterday, but it does feel like six months ago. Ok, it’s been more than thirty years. But I remember that feeling of finally being in control of myself, my destiny. That feels like it was last week. Because I’m feeling it again after twenty-five years…I can go where I want when I want. See who I want. Be seen. No more children’s schedules. Freedom it is, again. Bittersweet.
It’s so different being on the other side of that. I’m the mother. I want to have control. I want her to depend on my authority. I don’t want her going wherever she wants and being seen. It’s hard letting go. Something I’ve been doing a lot of lately. She doesn’t quite understand that being independent requires responsibility and confidence and trust. Those things must be earned. Step by step. While being independent is an adjective it takes a whole lot of verbs to get to that description.
How else do we earn out independence except by being independent? Earning the rights along the way. Trial. Error. Freedom. She’s sixteen, I’m forty-nine, America is two-hundred and forty, but we’re all working on our independence today. Ultimately, and I kind of like that about myself, I do believe that…
“Independence is happiness.”
Susan B. Anthony