I've been taught to be independent and self-sufficient since my elementary school days. My dad didn't want me to rely on a man for things that the "male" is traditionally known to do. My mom didn't want me to search for completeness in marriage or to have a man in my life. It made sense and served me well as an only child. I don't have brothers I can call, and little did I know that I would be a 40-plus year-old, divorced mom-of-two boys out here doing life. But that's not what this picture shows. It looks as if I'm out here, self-sufficiently holding up my car's hood (not sure where the hood stand made its way to) while the auto car care man replaces my headlight.
As I stood there in the cold, holding the hood up for more than 45 minutes, I was aggravated, angry and a little irritated that more than five males walked past the scene, and not one offered to hold the hood in my stead. It hit me just how much I didn't want to be this independent. In fact, I've been running the household and raising the boys and taking care of all the things to the point that I almost forgot that doing it alone isn't the end goal.
Yes, I'm happy I can do it and that God has graced me with the provision and resources to do it all as my parents envisioned I would be able to, should I need to. But here we are on a Friday night, and I'm holding my own hood up in the cold. It's not fun. It's not a high-five moment. It's just life happening, and I'm having an honest moment with myself. I don't want to do it all by myself. More importantly, I don't want to get so used to doing it alone that I forget how to allow someone to love me, support me and if the occasion presents itself, hold up the hood in my stead. I think it's great to teach our sons and daughters to be self-sufficient, and the balance in that is teaching them to recognize the person or people who can help. They don't have to go it alone. And if they happen to fall in love, do that relationship a favor and learn to loosen the independent reigns enough to enjoy the freedom and security of partnership. That's what I'm telling myself, too.
P.S. I felt some type of way about this, so I did a podcast about it. Check it out on my YouTube channel, Life Can Be a Niche.