Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Admiring my Daughter's Independence

Riley really wanted to see this recently-released movie. So she did. By herself.

I don't think I realized that it can be great doing things by myself until my thirties.

It wasn't until after I dropped her off that I even realized that she was doing what she wanted to do alone. Sylvia and I have both experienced the struggles of trying to make things come together with friend groups and sometimes, it feels like more trouble than it's worth. Riley didn't even bother trying. She had this window of opportunity to see this movie on opening weekend, and we picked the time and theatre and that was that.

Afterward, I told her that I was proud of her for doing this, and she acknowledged that she felt a little awkward when she saw she was the only one by herself (and when the theatre's commercial promoted "togetherness at the movies"), but once the movie started, she was glad that no one was trying to talk to her during the movie and she could just relax and enjoy.

I remember when we were in NYC, I went to see Next to Normal by myself...and was really glad that I was alone. The show is so emotional that it took me several minutes to collect myself to just stand up! And walking back to the hotel was a great time to reflect on what I'd just seen. I didn't need to worry about whether anyone else enjoyed it, I got to have my own authentic experience (and I loved it).

Now, I also enjoy seeing things with friends and the girls. I remember when the girls and I saw The Book of Mormon with two of our friends, and at intermission, my friend Nancy and I just giggled with delight that we were finally seeing it! It's great to have a conversation after about what we liked, what we didn't, what it made us think about.

But when it's too much of a hassle, when you're afraid no one else will get it/like it, when you have this window of opportunity to do something you solely want to do, it's great to just go do it by yourself.

I love that it didn't take Riley decades to discover that.

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