When Emily requests to do things that she cannot do, I prefer to give her a “yes” answer rather than say no. For many things, this is easily done as I place an age limit, like driving. Emily knows she is welcome to drive when she is sixteen (and has a permit/license).
Without my prompting, she has taken this into her own hand by placing an age for everything she wants to do: eat as much candy as she wants, stay up late, chew gum, etc.
As I listen to her dialogue, I wonder how often I’ve done this myself. Claiming inability to do something because of my age or choosing to back out of an opportunity because the timing wasn’t right.
Yet, I have done so many things out of the traditional “order.” I got married young (at 20), had my first at 21 and my second at 22 all while finishing my undergraduate education – which I completed in 3 years. During this time, despite encouragement from many faculty members, I chose to stay home rather than pursue a graduate degree thinking I could do that after the kids were in school.
And then I had an epiphany.
Will timing ever be right? Wasn’t that why I had kids young in the first place, because I realized that no time would be easier than another? Why not apply this same idea to my educational and vocational desires?
So I’m trying to change my way of thinking. This might mean going to excess in pursuit of this dual life at first, but hopefully things will balance out in the next decade or so.