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“I Do What I Wanna Do!”
Child, dependent on parents for everything, demands more liberty
It must be strange to be a child, having everything you need provided for, and yet somehow always being obsessed with the various freedoms you don’t have. I want sometimes to tell her about getting older, and the moment when you realize that the comforts people take away are not replaced with more satisfying forms of freedom. In the category of obvious things that seem curious to parents: It’s interesting to observe that the craving for independence is so deep seated in us, that the instinct to go your own way is human nature—and that we encounter it at such a young age. On one hand, I find myself asking why we have evolved to need independence so badly all the time; on the other, I am troubled by the notion of “an obedient child”, and what that archetype suggests. Kina is a good kid, to be sure, but I’m comforted by her fierce annoyance at the (very reasonable) constraints we put on her life and behavior. We need her to be strong, and we want her to yearn for more—even though we do provide for everything, and I could honestly use a little complacency some days.
Sorry, Buster. I wish I could tell you it gets better. You’ll get stronger. We’ll let go. Maybe.