Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gaining independence

I have two children who are 10 and 9 years old. Most of my life now seems to revolve around picking them up, dropping them off, feeding them etc. Because we live in the middle of rice paddies there is no real option for me to avoid a lot of these things and make them more independent outside the house. They can't wander to the local shops, jump on their bike to visit a friend or catch the bus to swimming. Half of me is happy about this as I can control their lives so much more in a pretty scary world, but half of me wishes I could let them become more independent.
One of the main reasons for this last wish is because I look at my mother in law who is now 73 years old. She lives her whole life in this tiny valley and because she doesn't drive she is totally reliant on her husband or other family members to either take her places (on the rare occasion she wants to go) or get things for her. She has no desire to go anywhere, but there are times, like last week, when she needs to go to the hospital. On this particular day both myself and her husband weren't around so she had to get there by herself. On the bus. Which only runs twice a week. For the first time in her 73 year life. I picked her up after she had finished at the hospital and she was so full of pride that she had managed it by herself. The first time she had done so in 73 years..... it made me all the more determined to make my children independent in the very near future! It also reminded me why she is so much in awe of my mother and grandmother who have made it all the way to Japan by themselves - often catching numerous trains to get down to us.


  1. You had your picture on the right hand side - totally threw me :) First time in 73 years? Wow. I know what you mean about the independence. I'm glad we can control a lot of what the kids do - especially as they get older.

  2. Enjoy their dependence while you can. Kids have this nasty habit of growing up before you know it. Do you think your kids will stay in the countryside to grow up and raise a family? I worry that so many young people leave the countryside to live in the cities leaving only the elderly behind. I've heard of small towns turning into ghost towns because of this. Unfortunately, the cities are where the jobs are.