Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Price of Independence

As a child it never in occurred to me that parents  pay a price for independence.  I was working so hard to achieve that hard won status and believed the cost was mine.  As a parent, I understand that my parents paid a price too.  Last week, the price was the heart stopping realization that I'd misplaced my trust and taken too much for granted.  This week the price is much cheaper.  Really, it's a lesson in tolerance and perspective.

My kitchen is an absolute disaster.  Flour covers almost every surface, the floor and two of my children.  Olives and other bits of debris litter the floor.  I could go on to catalog the mess and the irritation.  I could lament the fact that I'll spend way more time this evening encouraging and cajoling my children in the clean up process than I would have spent if I had just made and cleaned up on my own.

Why go through it?  Why grin and bear the flour coating my recently cleaned kitchen floor?  For the payoff.  Six children, enjoying pizza that they made with no real help from an adult.  That kind of pride in accomplishment and budding independence can't be bought or taught.  It has to be experienced.

You know what else can't be bought?  A clean kitchen after a cooking adventure.  That has to be earned with hard work and effort. 

Two life lessons with pepperoni and extra cheese.  Pass my plate.

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