2.23.2010

Moving On a.k.a. Free To Be

Ah, to be young and resilient. Or maybe I did a better parenting job than I am giving myself credit for. Everygirl has decided to break from the flip-side of femininity, i.e. boys, to hang with her BFFs more thus increasing her curfew again. I'm elated while soaking in the ironic rays of my parental influence which were, in part, influenced by the most irresponsible of sources --> my dad. For those just stepping into my world, my dad was mostly absent during my teen years. He would show up every now and then to fine-tune the dysfunction between my mother and him then tithe towards more freedom by handing over some crazy story of nomadic work while handing over part of his paycheck. My mother never really believed the stories but with five children to raise on an 8th grade education, I figured she would rather listen to his woes of work than create her own. She was permissive by nature. My lack of a curfew is a good example. This was one of many points of distention between my parents. But my dad was hardly there to enforce any rules. Out of respect for my mother, I never abused this freedom though my friends did. I discovered one night that I was the smoke screen when two sets of parents ended up at my doorstep at 2 in the morning insisting 'all' of us were with a group of boys drinking. My mother came in and woke me up wondering if I had seen my friends. I said I had not and went back to bed pissed that I'd not been invited.

Anyway, back to my parental influence, at one point in my life I was madly infatuated with a young man five years my senior. I was a sophomore in high school. The liaison was illegal. Of course, nothing illegal was going down because I said I was in infatuated not in love but my dad being hardwired for romance in all forms including illicit was not buying that and dropped rather unexpectedly into my timeline to lay down the law. If you continue to date that young (I can still hear the sarcasm) man than your curfew will be 9:00 p.m.. I looked at my mother pleading and I remember her just nodding. I knew her non-word was better than anything he could verbally offer up. So, I ended the 'could have been' romance of my life for my freedom...and, in terms of possible jail time, the young man's, too.

I'm embracing the whole notion if you're offered something, anything, and the alternative is your freedom, you always choose your freedom. Eventually, my dad would fall completely out of the picture and my mother would move into her freedom by default. There is not a person, place or thing in this world that would ever entice her to give it up. Over a long period of time, I'd been offered, over and over again, the opportunity to conform into someone I am not. Failing so miserably, I've finally embraced the alternative. It was a clear decision. No default, no one's fault. When it is all said and done, I doubt that I will ever choose anything again that will not honor my autonomy...that or my time with the BFFs.