Growth

I think something in us all craves the approval of our parents.  We don’t overtly or obviously tailor our actions to parental approval, but we would rather deal with the consequences ourselves than risk garnering their disapproval.  They took care of us, were our first teachers, nursed us through our teenage years of wild hormones and broken hearts, and taught us to think for ourselves.  So where does it stop?  When do they begin to see us as people as opposed to their daughter or son?  Some of us do the exact opposite of what they wish for us; deliberating carving out a path as far away as possible in efforts to cling onto a sense of independence.  Others follow their parents’ wishes to the letter.  The rest stand somewhere in the middle and maintain a balance between independence and parental input.  I have no idea where I stand.  My relationship with my parents is neutral at best and tense at worse.  They love me; they will always love me.  But loving me does not entitle them to dictating how my life should be run.  Everything around me is rapidly changing constantly; the world as I know it may be different day-to-day.  And yet, as more of the things change around me, the more my parents strive to keep me the same.

They cannot coddle me forever; their attempt to place me in a bubble will eventually do more harm than good. I cannot hope to survive in a world beyond the bubble if my world view is shaped only by that bubble.  If they do not have the confidence in my capabilities then how I can have faith in myself?  Daughters are not as breakable as everyone seems to think they are.  Just as sons are not nearly as irreproachable or infallible as we believe them to be.  We are all merely human.  And being human, it is acceptable to be selfish.  It ensures survival among all the mistakes and stumblings that occur.  Parents are also human; they want what’s “best” for us.  However, their perception of what’s best isn’t necessarily the actuality of what’s best for us.  It is their job to guide us, but they need to allow for growth.  I cannot grow encased in a bubble.  Sooner or later I will outgrow those trappings.  I don’t claim to know the answer as to how my live my life, but I need to discover that for myself.  And if I do things that they disapprove of, well…”we don’t always do the things our parents want us to do, but it is their mistake if they can’t find a way to love us anyway” (Sullivan).

~T

Sullivan, J. Courtney. Commencement. New York: Random House 2009.

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