"I can do it myself!" she demanded, hands on her hips, a look of determination on her face.
"We don't need your help, Mom," her sister added with the same look of determination on her face.
"But..." and I stopped and even though my dad was miles away I could still clearly hear his words, "Hmmm, I wonder who they sound like. Where do you think they get that from?"
Pride is a damnable thing at times. I prided myself my whole life on my independence. I could take care of myself. I could do anything on my own. I didn't need anyone's help. Help was for the dependent; for the weak. I'd take the hard way around just because I had too much pride and stubbornness to accept help.
I stared down at them so determined to do it on their own. Didn't they realize they needed my help and would always need my support? I found myself at a parenting crossroads. People rave on my children's independence all the time; just as I'm comfortable in my own company, many times content to be by myself, they are too. I love this about them and their determination, but I could also now see a little more clearly the error of my ways (will probably see even more clearly later) so how do I teach them to keep that independence, that determination, but to hold their pride in check enough to realize we all need help sometimes and we always need one another.
In my The Stories our Lives Write Post I mentioned how even though I have always believed in God, I never prayed for myself. I use to think maybe that was because somewhere admist all my selfish ways, that was the selfless side of me coming out. But no I think it's because as much as I believed in Him I didn't think I needed His help and now maybe I see I was wrong. Having God in my life I am seeing isn't just in believing in Him, but in accepting that I do need Him much the same way I do need everyone else.
My life is surrounded by an amazing support system of family and friends. Even though I never really thought of support as a form of help; it so is. And I need them. We all need that support, that kind of help. I may think I'm so independent and done everything myself all these years, but I see now I wouldn't have without them. They are my village (using the cliche term floating around the internet right now). I know some are crying out to bring back the village, but I have it right here and I didn't even know it. Because I was so set that I could it all myself. I didn't need anyone. That would make me weak. Make me incompetent.
But I see now I didn't teach by myself, I don't raise my kids by myself, I don't live my life by myself, I don't have a marriage by myself. It's the community of support I get from my family and friends that enable me to do all of that. This village of people that love and support me in my highs and lows have always been there. It's not weak to accept help and support I see now but smart. We do need each other more than we need anything else.
So to my beautiful independent, determined daughters, I tell you this. Hold on to that independent, determined mindset because it will serve you well, but realize you never have to do anything alone. Find the family and the true friends in life that will become like family and hold onto them with everything you have because you will need them and they will be the reason you will be able to do what you set out to do.
And to you the village, thank you for being there for me and my little family. You help us learn how to parent differently and hopefully better. You help teach our children with your examples and direction when they need it. You support us in our good and bad moments, in the highs and lows. As much as we can all do it ourselves, we do need each other.
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