Thursday, March 12, 2009

Freedom and responsibility

When I was 3 years old, a neighboring farmer lugged me home from the field where he was working with heavy equipment. I was an escapee on the prowl and my mother was aghast.

Our yard was fenced but my folks then added barbed wire at the top (I don’t think it was coiled like the prison walls but I could be wrong…). They repaired any holes under the fence. They put boards beneath the gates so I couldn’t scoot under.

There wasn’t anything at home I didn’t like but my curiosity extended beyond the fence. I craved freedom but had no sense of responsibility yet.

I finally stayed put because even my curiosity couldn’t find a way out.

I then discovered that there was plenty to do in that big yard anyway. (Ask me sometime about putting salt on the bird’s tail.)

By the time I could open the gate, I had better sense than to stand in front of a landmover and walk down the middle of the highway. When I finally earned some freedom, I had outgrown most of my foolishness (and the rest is permanently imbedded).

Freedom and responsibility must be blended until there’s no difference.

Parenting tip: it’s OK to protect until your kids grow up. The day will come when they will open the gate. Take that time to be sure they’re ready to walk out.

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