Sunday, July 4, 2010

Milking Your Independence

It's the Fourth of July! For a lot of people, this means parties, hot dogs, and fireworks. But when you have three year old it means, well, that you'll probably be doing the same stuff you usually do. We are having some friends over this evening for a casual dinner and then it's bedtime like any other night. Sure we could keep him up past his bedtime, but then there's the noise factor, the bathroom factor, and the over-exhausted temper tantrum factor. I think that's more fun than I actually want to have.

Now that I am on hiatus from the Forth of July, I found myself focused more on the fact that it's not just the Forth of July. It's actually Independence Day. (I know... can you handle this level of deep thinking?) While I might be a bit out of practice when it comes to the 4th of July, I am very in-touch with the concept of independence. My kid is constantly redefining and reminding me of how important independence is. And at the same time, I'm constantly reminding him of the responsibilities that come with it. He wants to pour his own milk, fine, but he's got to watch what he's doing or it's going to spill. Before I know it, pouring his milk will be driving the car and the stakes will be even higher. But it has to happen. Lord knows, I don't want to be pouring his milk at his wedding reception.

On this blog, I've suggested that people should only be allowed a certain amount of water to use each day and if you go over... well actually I don't remember what I suggested the consequence be, but I assume it had something to do with paying big bucks. But there is an opportunity that we all have as we exercise our independence and perhaps today think more closely about what independence means. As independent people, we have the ability to use as much water as we want in our homes. Hell, we could just leave the water running all day long. But like I tell my son, being independent comes with responsibility.

I know that it may be a very unpopular opinion to think that people should have limitations on their daily water use. But I'm willing to lose that debate if I can be convinced that people are not just exercising their independence, but exercising it wisely. Are you going to look at what you're doing? Or are you going to spill the milk?

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