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Let Your Children Fly

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I cried when I was reading the letters from parents about not letting go of their children in college. My mother was so strict with me that I was not even allowed to go to college.

A new local college was opened the year I graduated from high school, but my parents' excuse for me not to go was that they couldn't afford it. They also asked me how I was going to get there since it was 25 miles from home. They decided that, since I was a girl, I did not need a car, even though they bought both of my brothers a car when they turned 16.

I could not even get a job because we lived in the country and there were no businesses close by. They finally allowed me to go to "beauty school" to learn how to do hair, which I hated. After graduating from that and getting my license, I still could not work because, they asked, "How are you going to get to work without a car?" It was always just one roadblock after another.

I was not even allowed to date, while all of my friends were going out with boys to parties and such. My mother didn't trust me. Honestly, I don't know why because I never had boys come to visit me on the farm. I think that I was 18 or 19 before I had my first date, and even then, Mom was not sure about it.

Needless to say, the first male who asked me to get married was the one I chose. I could not wait to get out of that house, but as it turned out, the man I did marry was a HUGE mistake.

My brother was in the Navy, and while he was stationed in Florida, he asked me to fly down there to spend time with him. He had a married friend who said that I could bunk with them. I was finally working in a factory at this time, so I had my own money, but my parents said, "NO!" They actually told me that if I went, I would not be welcome back home again.

Honestly, I never could understand why they, especially my mother, distrusted me so much. I never gave her any reason to, and when I questioned her, all she would say was, "Oh, I trust you." I feel as if I missed so much in my teenage years. I even thought about joining the Navy, to which my mother said, "No way in hell!" At that time, I still had animals on the farm, and I knew that if I did join, my parents would dump them. So, I just stayed home.

 

The funny thing is that a cousin's wife said that she was in the Navy and that she really enjoyed it and that I should have joined. Thanks for listening. Please keep telling parents to let their children "spread their wings" because it is the way they grow up. -- Caged Bird

Dear Caged: What your mother did to you was not fair. She said she trusted you with her words, but her actions painted a much more hurtful picture. The fact that you wrote this letter and see the importance of giving children their own wings to fly out of the nest shows you can already fly. You are doing it with your pen and by telling your story. Now that you are an adult, it's not too late to get a job, go to college, move out on your own and live a life that you want to live.

Your mother's restrictions were no doubt imposed on you from her own insecurities and fears about the world. She loves you, but her way is not necessarily the most loving way. And you know that. So, spread your wings. I can't wait to hear about all the adventures that take place once you take flight.

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"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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