I was a math minor in college. I used to have a love for the numbers. But lately I am quite tired of hearing about one particular number. Prepare yourself because I am going to rant a bit about the number 18.
I have told my girls many times not to insert their ages into any argument with me. I know how old they are. I was there when they were born, after all, and I have been the one to either bake or buy every birthday cake since then and I’ve bought all the presents and planned all the celebrations. I know how old you are, ladies. Don’t try to use your age in an argument about what you would like to do.
My current least favorite number is 18, as I said. I have alternately looked forward and dreaded my oldest turning 18. It’s pretty exciting to hit that number in life where the world at large calls you an adult. And it’s a milestone as a parent to see your daughter hit that mark, I guess. But to me it is nothing but a number. All it really means is that you can check yourself out of school without my permission if you want (but not back in…you need me for that…and it won’t be an excused absence unless I say so!) and you can vote. In my opinion, and mine is the one that matters at this point more than your own, 18 year old, you need to back up that number with the ability to support yourself before the number of your age means too much.
I have tried to warn my daughters along the way that no number assigned to their age would be some sort of magic that meant that they could do as they pleased. The old phrase, “my house, my rules,” is still in force while my daughters are living under my roof or under the umbrella of my complete financial support. As long as you live in my house, you will need to let me know of your comings and goings and not leave me worried. As long as I am paying for your car, your insurance, your clothes, your shelter, food, and whatnot, you will be following the rules of the house. And whatever number is assigned to your years on this earth will not trump that fact. I am fully aware of your age and it means nothing in the context of an argument with me.
When you turn any particular age, you may earn some new freedoms we’ve attached to that age. Remember when you turned 16 and you knew that was the age where you’d be allowed to go on a date? But remember that we also reserved the right to tell you no to a particular person, place, or event? 18 is no different. You do have certain freedoms, but we have the last word.
Rant over. Unless you’d like to add to it…