rant of the day: not independence, not dependence but the power of choice, itself

I picked this quote up from someone else's status, its a popular one today, and while I get the sentiment, it bugs me:

"It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time." Peggy O'Mara

It bugs me because there is not some kind of developmental, one-way progression, with total independence as some kind of final, perfect state. We all need other people, other beings. Its not something we have to grow out of or should grow out of entirely. How many adults really need more help, more support and never ever ask for it, out of the over-valuation of independence?

It isn't even the nature of children to be dependent! Many many young children clamor for more independence in their lives only to be twarted at every turn by a world that's too big, too complex, too full of helpful others insisting on opening the door For them, turning on the light For them, opening the package, fixing the problem, the wrong problem, because the problem isn't that the child needs help. Children, and adults too, crave the ability to Choose whether or not to ask for help. Taking away that choice, in Either way, by insisting on independence when someone needs a hand or insisting on dependence when someone wants to make the effort, that's the problem.

Everyone likes to do it themselves sometimes, adult, child, person of any age with any disability. Sometimes you wanna just fucking try it. But no-one likes to have the decision of whether or not to try, whether or not to work way too hard for a seemingly small gain, taken away by those friendly, thoughtless words: "I'll do it". At the same time, we all need a hand sometimes. Any person of any level of ability wants to be able to say "can you get that for me" even if its nothing but a dropped pencil, or a cup eight inches out of reach without being coaxed or pressured into doing it "because I know you can."

Maybe there's more to that quote, an addendum that I haven't read. I don't know. I get that parents get tired of constant demands and some yearn for their kids to be more able. But independence doesn't grow out of dependence. Its something else, its own thing, its own state. One can be dependent in some ways and independent in others, or can be both over the same damn thing, cooking dinner or getting the mail, getting dressed and going to the toilet at different times. Many of the parents who begrudge dependence will one day be there again, struggling to move, to meet our own basic needs.

Ability it transitory. Its as good to say that it is the nature of independence to be outgrown, but neither is true. The best, the very best we can do is offer one another the decision, the ability to choose for ourselves what we can and will handle in this exact moment.

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