I found out today that someone I know has a very ill family member. Out of fear and love, her family chose not to tell her the truth about the situation, right away. Knowing what I know now, I find that things done by others to "protect" us may not indeed do that. She is younger as I was when this happened to me, and I remember being angry, perplexed and sad. "Why would they do this to me?" she asked. My first response to her was the obvious, "they are protecting you." My mind flew back to last week when a baby jay had fallen or been "encouraged" out of the nest. My boyfriend told me of the situation as he returned from walking one of our hounds. I was upset, flustered, and felt compelled to intervene. What if ants, or worse cats, attacked the darling thing?
When I got outside, I saw the fluffy, blue birdie on the sidewalk. I also saw, or rather heard, several adults. It was surprising to me as I don't think of blue jays as the nicest of birds. There they were perched above it on different sides alternating between chirping, checking on it and keeping alert for cats or other dangers. One would flit down and then back up as if to say "Here's how you do it!" Thinking of intervening, I knew my intentions would be unclear to the jays. I decided to let the bird be and to go on with my day, to let those in the position to help do so. I felt good about that decision, somehow wise.
Real Simple (one of my favorite magazines) did a recent survey of mothers and many said they should have let their kids fail. I'm starting to agree. It is much easier to fail when you have someone right there to pick you up and dust you off, than say when you get out in the real world. Then, you might just jump off the financial branch and fall like a chick in chain mail. I always admired the parents of one of my college friends who gave her money to pay her bills and walked her through the process. I'm thinking that either way, the key word is support, including good communication, to raise responsible adults.
And, I have to say that I am glad, though the cautious parents didn't tell her right away, she now knows what's going on. I'm glad I had some insight to offer her. In my own situation, I've come to see why my parents did the same thing and have forgiven them. Now, I ask them tell me what's going on. They can't protect me anymore; I'm already flying.