Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Balancing Act

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...

These stirring words from the Declaration of Independence express the desire for all citizens of this glorious land to have equal rights and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, it is not so.

This was pointed out to me accidentally today by The Girl, who spent some time complaining to me that the rights in the household were unbalanced - she felt she didn't have enough rights. A quick tally of rights and responsibilities soon made me see the inequity.

The rights are out of balance, and tilted heavily in her favor. She doesn't pay rent, and yet she has a comfortable place to live. She doesn't pay utilities and yet she has lights, heat, electricity to run her PC, her radio, her blowdryer, her flat iron...the list goes on and on.

She doesn't work or earn money yet she has food, clothing, medical and dental care. Without performing any tasks of hard labor she gets spending money to go out with friends - sometimes it's offered just to get her to go out with friends instead of fighting with her brother.

I certainly had to agree with her that there don't seem to be enough rights to go around, and it appears that there aren't any left over for me.

Okay, this is normal. Parents provide and care for children because it is right and normal to do so, because it is what parents are for. Children don't realize what real life is like because childhood is supposed to be a time infused with a certain amount of light-heartedness and it is the time to be care-free, before adulthood brings responsibility to rest heavy on their shoulders.

And because I was once a child and am now a mother, I know that there will come a day when she will understand and appreciate what I have done. I know it will be the day that one of her children complains to her about how unfair she is being. So it has always been, and so it always will be, from generation to generation. I don't think it's wrong that I am going to giggle just a bit when it happens... do you?

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