When I was in university I remember my young adults pastor telling me that the reason I was still single was because I was too independent.
I rolled my eyes at him.
(I rolled my eyes at him a lot, if you were wondering …)
I was 21 years old and not remotely interested in dating. My last relationship hadn’t ended well and it had nothing to do with my independence and everything to do with my boyfriend’s inability to date just one girl at a time.
I thought my pastor was out of line then and I still do – but maybe he was right that I’m too independent.
I’ve always been the type of person who likes to do things for myself. If I can do it, I will, and if I can’t do it – I’ll do everything in my power to find a way to get it done without asking anyone else for help.
I hate having to rely on others.
I hate not being in control.
I had surgery last week. It was just minor surgery – one of my wisdom teeth came in sideways and was pushing on the tooth in front of it, so it had to be removed. I didn’t write about it beforehand because I didn’t want to think about it beforehand! They had to put me to sleep to perform the surgery and Nathan was supposed to stay with me for a full 24 hours afterward (though he cheated and went to work half a day early, leaving me lying on the couch with my fancy ice sock tied around my head while the kids and the dog ran wild!). It was the real deal.
And for me, it was a lesson in dependence.
I had to depend on the surgeon.
I had to depend on the nurses.
I had to depend on my husband.
I had to depend on my brother-in-law, who babysat the afternoon of the surgery (and who had never taken care of both children at once or changed a diaper until Wednesday afternoon!).
I had to depend on Topher to call Nathan in the event of an emergency, and to take care of his little sister when I couldn’t move from the couch.
And it was hard.
I didn’t expect to be incapacitated for so long: One little wisdom tooth, and I was out for almost four days. I had a list of things I wanted to do – which transformed into a list of things I wanted Nathan to do – which was shortened to a list of things I desperately needed Nathan to do – and everything else was placed onto a list of things I’ll get to when I feel better.
I’m finally starting to feel more like myself, and although I’m relieved – I don’t want things to back to the way they were before. I feel that as a mom, I’m the one everybody depends on for everything – and it doesn’t have to be that way. Topher was much better behaved and he had a real sense of pride when he knew I was relying on him to look out for Ellie. There were no “accidental” punches in the head or pushes off the bed, and not once did he make Ellie lie on the floor while he rolled over top of her on a couch cushion. Nathan took care of the kids Wednesday and Thursday and as soon as he got home on Friday. He made sure I had food that I could eat and for two days he set the alarm and got up with me every three hours during the night so I could take my painkillers on time. And he didn’t once comment on my appearance (or smell!) after wearing the same pair of leggings, tank top and hoodie for three days straight.
Maybe dependence isn’t such a bad thing after all.