Nica has begun saying this the past few days. Though I know it is just a normal part of growing up and (nearly) every kid adopts this attitude, I hope that she will not be so overly independent as I have sometimes been, thinking I must do everything by myself. A strong sense of family is one of many things I have come to appreciate about my husband's culture.
When we first started dating, I had no patience for having to go everywhere in a crowd. The underlying machismo that a woman could not be trusted alone and must always protect her reputation by having witnesses to vouch for her good behavior would send me into self-righteous, raving fits.
But when I needed someone and had her there, I began to change my mind about that. Before I got pregnant with Nica, I miscarried. It was a fairly routine thing, nothing dramatic, but it was my first pregnancy and I was devastated. I had told him not to go with me because I knew I was in for a long day of back and forth to the lab, a gynecological exam (never fun, but definitely didn't want my husband in the room), but I didn't know I would get an ultrasound. My poor sixteen-year-old niece Suzy was with me-- my husband had sent her to keep me company on the long drive to the hospital. On the way there it was a little uncomfortable. How much does a thirty year old have to say to a teenager? But I was so glad to have someone with me on that long ride home.
It has been a process, learning to be available to others and sometimes dependent on them, but I am grateful I have learned to slow down, share myself, and be open to those in my life.