As the parent of a 23-year old, I am constantly reminding myself that it is my job to raise her to be independent and that it’s her job to grow up and forge her own path, separate from mine. Knowing this and living with the reality are two completely separate things.
We have two traditions on Fourth of July – the small neighborhood Tangletown Parade and the larger Richfield Parade. The first is walking distance from our house – kids on decorated bikes and trikes, dog with red and blue bandanas do a short parade down to the park where there is music, food and games. Richfield has a more traditional parade with politicians, marching (& riding) bands, some military and local businesses. And, of course, candy for kids.
I was a little disappointed when YA got up early and then started talking about going to the Mall with her boyfriend, but then I reminded myself that I could go without her and it would be OK. So I was surprised when she said she wanted to go to the neighborhood parade (and happy). Of course, then it poured rain and neither of us went.
As I was getting ready to go to Richfield, she told me that the boyfriend still wasn’t ready and she wanted to go to the parade with me. Woo hoo! Two stadium chairs, ice water, phones and umbrellas (which protected us from the sun and eventually the rain) and we were on our way. It was a fine parade, with some planes flying in formation (a first) over the parade route three times and a giant grocery cart (also a first). About 75% of the parade had gone by when the rain started and YA said she still wanted to stay until the end. So we sat in our orange stadium chairs under our umbrellas and continued to wave our little flags at the remaining paraders.
It was nice to spend the day with her, especially after I had steeled myself to do the parades alone. I guess I have a year to steel myself for the next Fourth of July.
Have you ever had to declare YOUR independence?