Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Appreciating Adulthood

Yesterday I decided to run to the store to grab some ice cream.  We had spent an evening at the zoo with the kids and I was pretty hot.  That combined with the fact that we didn't have a lot of fruit left this week and I really wanted something sweet for my snack, led me to take a trip to the store.  (Well...what do YOU eat when you are hot and want something sweet???)

So off to the store I went.  The warm evening reminded me of an evening I spent in Arizona as a teen.  My family was back for vacation, and I had taken a walk around the resort we were staying at.  Nothing particular special, but this evening has always stuck with me...the perfectness of it all I guess. I remember the warmth surrounding me and being solitary in my thoughts.  It was a very peaceful time.

So in my trip to the store for ice-cream, as I strolled down memory lane, I began thinking about my teen years in general.

I didn't particularly enjoy them.  I mean, I have some good memories, but if someone said "Hey, you can go back and relive any time period in your life...", I wouldn't pick it.  I wouldn't pick any time period from my childhood really...but especially NOT this time period. I was very insecure in my teen years, and while it was probably some of the best times from my childhood it was also the same time the worse.  My family was not in church for the first time and was overall very broken.  This created a very tumultuous home life.

One thing about growing up and moving out that I have never gotten over (for lack of a better term) is the love of my freedom.  SURE with that freedom comes responsibilities...but responsibility has never bothered me.  Having to tell someone where I'm going or being told I can or cannot do this or that...THAT has bothered me.  Even though I'm married, I still have freedom because I have a choice in my future and daily life.  At all times there is a choice that I get to make.  My spouse is not my parent, but rather my friend.  So there is really a huge difference in tone and treatment there.

And last night as I was driving to the store...I realized I had forgotten to tell my lovely husband where I was going.  I didn't even say I was leaving before I left.  I had also forgotten my cell phone at home.  And I felt bad, but knew I'd be back in 15 minutes.

I relished the fact that I had a car to get into, the freedom to do so, and the money to go buy ice-cream because I darn well pleased.  If I had taken this trip during high school, even though I was gone for 15 minutes it would have resulted in at least a 2 month grounding plus other privileges taken away.  I won't even discuss the hours of yelling that would also occur.

So THANKS GOODNESS for adulthood.  I simply would not have it any other way.  I would however maybe revisit my 20s and have a talk with myself about spending my time more wisely...but I think that is a different subject all together!

And when I told William I was sorry I hadn't let him know where I was going (it was rude!)...he had pretty much figured it out!  And of course - it wasn't a big deal.  He certainly didn't ground me. ;-)

I wonder how my kids will feel when they grow up and move out?  I certainly hope that they felt like they had appropriate freedom.  I'm not advocating letting your kids run around like wild banshees creating chaos.  We do however, let our kids help make decisions in every day life.  "Hey Rebekah, what would YOU like for dinner today?" for example.  I will say - I don't give her a choice like that unless I'm prepared to eat hot dogs... ;-)  That goes for any choice.  So it is a measured freedom, but the point is she does get to make choices for herself even at age 4.  (So does Peter - but I don't think he understands them yet!)  I'm hoping these little differences in her life will help her to appreciate her freedom, and not necessarily covet it like I do.  I do think I'm a bit warped in this area!  :-P

GIVE ME FREEDOM OR GIVE ME DEATH!  Just kidding! :-) Sorta...

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