Independent

This Independence Day I’ve come to understand the real meaning of being independent. Rott and I are out from beneath the yoke of being renters. This house is our house and no one can tell us what do with our house or demand entrance. The sense of freedom is amazing. As much as I struggle a bit to pay that loan payment, I derive a huge sense of satisfaction from writing that check and knowing that it pays for the walls around me to belong to me…to us. This is our sanctuary and no one controls what we can and can’t do here. It feels amazing.

Having a landlord feels and is oppressive. We’ve lifted that yoke from our shoulders. When I step out onto my porch with my morning cup of coffee and look at the canyon, I know that the land I’m looking at doesn’t belong to me. Yet, it does in the sense that it is MY view from MY porch. And looking out my windows and not seeing another building which is part of a row of identical buildings is so wonderful it brings tears to my eyes.

I grew up on a street with ranch style houses. Across the street were the pastures of a dairy farm. I lived on that street until I was 26 years old. Being thrust into the apartment and condo environment stifled me and I’ve been living the oppressed renter life way too long. The canyon I drive through now to get home reminds me of the canyons of Laguna Seca near my hometown. It’s like I’ve come full circle without having to go back to my hometown.  What it means to me is something I cannot even put into words, but it is without a doubt, independence.

Another instance of independence in my life is Nikki (aka Motley) who is now 22. She made plans for her 3 week summer break. Plans that didn’t include coming home. Instead, she went to Wisconsin to see a friend from WoW. She made the arrangements with him and his family and didn’t ask me for a dime. She flew there on her own. All I did was drive her to the airport.

Missing her these past 2 weeks has made me aware of her independence and what that means to me as a parent.  Nikki being on her own means that I am alone. Yes, Rott is here and the babies, but that’s different. Nikki is my flesh and blood. The only flesh and blood I am close to. I am not close to my siblings and their children for several reasons and I cannot rely on them to give me a sense of family. However, I do rely on Nikki for that. She is my only child and recognizing her independence means recognizing that one day she could move far away from me. That’s scary. Very, very scary.

I would never ask my child to stay close by because I am afraid to be alone. But the fear is there nonetheless. As independent as I am, I still fear being alone. There are moments I love solitude, but the sense that I am alone in this corner of the world without my only flesh and blood strikes at some deep fears within myself.

I don’t question my independence because of those fears. In some odd way, the fears strengthen my independence. Normally, I don’t think about it except once in awhile. But today is Independence Day so I thought the least I could do is acknowledge my own independence and that of my daughter. I’m so proud of her.  She’s sticking to her guns and working to finish school so she doesn’t have to struggle as I have. Her independence comes from me in many ways and I like to think I’ve not done such a bad job of parenting.

So all you parents of adult children out there, when you’re celebrating Independence Day today, also give yourself a pat on the back for creating and nurturing independence in your kids.  It’s a tough job and part of it is learning to let go and embrace your own sense of being independent.

Before I go, here’s a Marcus to brighten the day for you!

Loving those summer whites! Wishing you all a wonderful American 4th of July Independence Day!

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