… From a Lovingly Overprotected Daughter…
This past weekend my mom and I were watching La Vita E Bella* (in Italian, no less– well, with English subtitles), and I couldn’t help but cry after the movie had ended, when my mom said the following (in Spanish, but here’s my best attempt at remembering and translating it):
You know, that’s just what your dad and I would do. Why tell your kid you’re going through hard times? Why have them go through everything that’s bad in the world and worry just so they can learn a lesson they’re too young to learn anyways? You see, Guido and Dora had their son live in a dream world so that he wouldn’t suffer, because what would have been the point of sharing with him what they were truly experiencing?
You see, it’s not about keeping kids all repressed and shielded and with no knowledge of the outside world. On the contrary, kids should know what’s happening out there. But not to the extent that it places them in a state of unnecessary worrying. I know people my age who like to brag about being “independent” (or so they think): they drink, party, work nonstop at more than one job because they HAVE to support themselves or else they’ll starve to death and be homeless, their parents live far away, they pay for everything themselves, and the list goes on and on.
As a young woman who’s never had a drink just for fun to see what I’ve been “missing out on,” or worked for the sole purpose of supporting myself, or even left home to live elsewhere when I know living at my parents’ is a wise financial decision, I often feel sorry for those people. The way I see it, their parents literally waited till they were 16, 17, 18+ to get rid of them (which is way sad! Are your children worth throwing them out?). And as a young woman with two loving parents whose main goal in life is to work so that I won’t have an unnecessary worry in my life, I often find that these independents have TOO much to worry about (in vain) to actually enjoy their so-called independence.
My mom told me a while ago that after I had been born (after having been trying to conceive for over five long years), they had made a “pact” with God (we’re Catholic) in which they promised they would take extremely good care of me because, in their mind, they had borrowed me, so when the time comes, I’d have to be returned safe and sound to Him.
First of all, isn’t that adorable?
And second of all, shouldn’t all parents believe this? We’ve been borrowed from God/a higher power and thus are right to depend on somebody to be safe and to ensure our well being. (Of course, in my culture, most gals live at their parents’ until they get married in their mid 20s. However, I’ll be looking to do my MBA out-of-state, so I’ll be moving out for a while until then. Then again, my mom’s said they’d move with me if we found affordable enough living arrangements. Oh geez… :-) )
So while I’m not a spoiled brat and could technically fend for myself should I ever need to, I can be confident in knowing that I won’t have to yet (or ever) because my parents love me enough to teach me all they can about the world, so that I can watch out for any potential pitfalls and prevent them, rather than letting me fall head first because I didn’t know better. Mistakes, after all, are more fun to learn from when you know how to prevent them.
If you haven’t seen La Vita E Bella, please go watch it. It’s beautiful, and the story is not only timeless but also global. It’s a story of never-ending love and a classic.
Are YOUR parents overprotective? What’s something you love about that?