In the last several weeks, Mom and Dad have gone several places without me: to the dentist, to the audiologist, to the dermatologist to have a bothersome cyst removed, to the grocery store, to the post office. I felt a bit glum being deprived of the opportunity to be useful and helpful, so show how needed I am, and to earn my keep. But I arrested myself with a self-deprecating, How silly of you! If Mom and Dad want to go places by themselves, and can do so safely, why shouldn’t they? They do not need a third wheel on every outing. In fact, any opportunity for them to be independent is healthy. They do want to be unnecessarily dependent upon me, and do not want that either. I should not try to soothe my sense of self-importance by inserting myself where I am not necessary. Despite some lingering worries about their safety on the road, I am happy to see them go off on their own to do this or that. I am not jealous. If I am available, I can offer to go along, just to make the outing a bit easier. In the meantime, it is fun to see them drive off to Burger King for Impossible Whoppers, fries, and diet Cokes.
(Image from NY Daily News. Used pursuant to the Fair Use doctrine.)