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Friday, June 29, 2012

Independence Day





From A Child's Point Of View...

With Running Commentary From the Parent...

Who Is No Longer Responsible...

Sort of...

Turning 18. 

Finally. And all in one piece. Says your former warden.

Becoming legal. 

Me too. No more threatening to call the Child Abuse Hot Line when you are told to make your bed.

Walking the path to independence and freedom. 

Here. Let me open the door for you.

Shaking off the surly bonds of surly parental control. 

Does this mean I get the remote back now?

No more taxation without representation. 

Allowance? Allowance? Don't forget to wear clean underwear to your job interview. They really do have X-ray vision. I did not lie about that.


I get a vote.

Yes you do. Yes you get a vote just like everybody else. ONE. Oh and you have to go and register and know the names of your representatives and senators, and the name of the President and the Vice President and who is running in local elections and what is the current tax rate and why is there money for street improvements but no money for fireworks and study all the issues and then get to the polls and pull the lever. That's called exercising. Exercising your right to vote.

I never have to listen to my parents again. 

This is not a one way street. Welcome to the your way or the high way rush hour traffic. Hope you've read the fine print on the rules of the road.

I never have to ask for my parents permission again. 

Oh, and I don't have to be home on time, and I can screen your calls, and wait until I finish this really good book before I reply to your email, and I can change the code on the house alarm. Intruder! Intruder! You are now on private property. Proceed accordingly.

I never have to go on some stupid vacation with my parents again. 

Let's see. Note to self. Check fares on Expedia after changing auto much less? I can go there? First class? Now?

I never have to have to do chores again. 

Oh. Like laundry and picking up after yourself, and remembering where you left your phone...I'd love to meet your new housekeeper.

I never have to have a curfew again. 

And I don't have to bang on your bedroom door six times in the AM, or stay awake in the Lazy-Boy until I hear your key in the front door. Plus, I don't have a curfew either!

I never have to agree with my parents again. 

And I can program the radio in my car to the golden oldies radio station, watch reruns of the Golden Girls and play my DVD of South Pacific and sing along while eating from a full bag of Doritos.

I am free. 

To come and go as I please. 

To think my own thoughts and go my own way.

No more parental control on Facebook or Twitter or the Internet. 

No more eating vegetables that make me gag. 

I am free. 

To leave. 

To be out on my own without a chaperone. 

Free speech. Free to be me. 

I can sign a lease. 

I can live on my own.

I can stay up all night. 

I can leave dirty dishes in the sink and wear the same clothes three days in a row. 

I hold these truths to be self-evident that I am an equal member of society and am endowed with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

I can leave and never see my parents again. 

I pray that this will never happen, because what I know as your parent, that you may not notice for awhile yet, as you bask in the glow of your new found freedom, is that one day, somewhere down the road, a new thought will cross your mind.

The very same thought I am thinking right now.

With a touch of heartache.

You...will never be a child again. 

What I need to tell you most is this...

The Declaration of Independence is a statement of freedom, but more importantly, it is a rite of passage to individual responsibility.

Read it carefully.


Others gave their lives to make this a living document.

Our world, yours and mine, needs a few more grown ups.

Like you.

And we...your loving parents...need you.

Being a parent is a full time job. So is good citizenship.

There is one difference.

Parents never get to retire. Ever.

Depend on it.

Adirondack Chairs