Signs of Growing Up

So, today my parents did something a bit unexpected.

While we were in the car, on the way to have lunch with my older brother in Fort Collins, my parents gave me freedom. What do I mean? Well, it’s a bit complicated.

I guess the context is my not loving with them since I was in High School, and the certain amount of freedom I’ve had since I’ve been quasi-on-my-own. I’ve grown up a lot in the last 3 and a half years, and not a lot has been easy. I’ve gotten on planes for the first time, and I have kind of fallen in love with them, as far as them taking you off to pretty distant destinations. I planned and executed an under-24 hour trip to New York City by myself (which my parents still don’t know about…). I figured out the whole college thing without any real help from my parents. I’ve kind of done a lot.

But, a lot of the time, my parents have still treated me like the kid I was when I left home, the day after my 16th birthday. Honestly, a lot of the time it feels like they’re still treating me like I’m 12. And most of the time, I feel 27. I know I have a long way to go, but I’m doing what I can to survive, to exceed, and to succeed. I’m try to make my own dreams true.

Of course, I understand where they come from. It’s hard to see your kid prematurely leave the nest, and it can be more difficult to see them mature all of a sudden, without your seeing them as they do it. A lot of my friends, being home from college for the first time, are experiencing that with their own parents, and I remember similar things with my brother when he went off to college.

So, when I spend extended periods of time with them, I try to respect whatever wishes they have. If I have any plans or any specific things that I want to do I usually give plenty of heads up, and if I can get permission, I do that as well. I don’t want to disrespect my parents when I’m in their home. And if they have any plans or expectations for me, I usually try to follow their will as much as possible.

So, for the most part, I celebrate holidays with my parents, and I usually don’t see my friends as much as I’d like, because there’s other ways and times for me to do that. I celebrated Thanksgiving, and Christmas with my parents, and my singing at the mass at Regis Jesuit High School on Christmas Eve was a bit of a stretch, although I did make sure they were cool with it when I originally got the invite, over Thanksgiving break.

So what exactly did my parents do that was so surprising to me, while on the way to Fort Collins? What freedom did they give me?

They gave me the freedom to make my own plans for the New Years holiday (Eve and then the actual Day). My parents told me not to worry about them, and that they were completely cool with me doing my own thing for the holiday. I hadn’t asked them anything about it, and they brought it up on their own. This freedom, I think, is a way of them recognizing the fact that I’m growing up, that I would like to spend a little more time with my friends, and that they see the freedoms I’ve given up to respect their will to spend time with me. I love my parents, and I think my patient love with them, trying to show them in alternative ways that I’ve grown up, and that I’m more responsible and mature. Instead of demanding respect and freedom to do my own thing, I was respectful to my parents and demonstrated a maturity that they didn’t expect.

I know that I don’t have plans yet for the New Year, but regardless of that fact, I’m excited for however I get to celebrate!



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