real life

"They’ll understand why I had to tell them 'No'. One day."

When I was 16, my all-time favourite singer came to Australia for a concert tour.

It was… GEORGE MICHAEL.

I was so excited. FINALLY I’d get to see him in the flesh and hear that amazing voice live. I raced home to tell my mum, never for one second thinking she wouldn’t allow me to go. I was, after all, 16, and it was, after all, George Michael.

“You’re not going to a concert,” she said as soon as I told her. And there began my first, real, teenage tantrum.

I was her oldest child and so far she’d been spared such hysterics, but it was GEORGE MICHAEL.

George Michael. The dreamboat himself.

I begged, I pleaded, I wailed, I asked my dad for help, I threw myself on the floor, I sobbed, I locked myself in my room and I told her that if she didn’t let me go I’d NEVER talk to her again.

She was unmoved.

I held a grudge over it for 20 long years, all the while secretly deciding that my mother was clearly an evil, heartless dictator. My friend’s parents had let them go.

Then, when I had my first child, a girl, I finally got it. She was just trying to protect me. I’m sure that if she could have coped with the thought of letting me go she would have, but she just couldn’t.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lindeman’s Early Harvest. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

I was her little girl. I still am, in her eyes.

Now I find myself looking back over my childhood, at all the things my parents refused to let me do, and I find that I totally get it. Every single one of them falls under the category of them not wanting me to grow up too fast.

They didn’t want me to grow up too fast.

Because life goes by so quickly, and one day, I was going to leave the nest.

So, now that I’m older and wiser and a mother I find myself instantly forgiving this grievance as well as a handful of others that have haunted me for years. They are:

1.  Not letting me go to the George Michael concert when I was 16.

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2.  Not letting me shave my legs until I was 16.

3.  Not letting me wear makeup until I was, well, 20.

4.  Not letting me sleep over my friend’s house, ever.

5.  Not letting me walk anywhere by myself.

6.  Not letting me go on school camps.

7.  Not letting me get my driver’s licence until I was, well, 18.

8.  Not letting me date until I was 30 and met my husband and I even had to do that in secret. For the record, I did date, they just didn’t know it. They didn’t meet any of them. Only my husband. Poor man…what he went through.

And it was in that moment of becoming a mother that I found myself totally and completely understanding my parents and all of their decisions, every single one, that left me feeling completely outraged at the time.

How evil. How controlling. It’s like I’m in gaol. And they are the wardens!

They’ll understand why. One day.

I was able to let go of all of that and reach a profound point of understanding. Because it all came from a place of love and to this day, they are over-protective, over-involved and too controlling.

Except now I accept it all as it is meant. With the love of a child who is truly grown up now.

And I will probably be over-protective of my children too. Even if they don’t like it. Especially if they don’t like it.

They’ll understand why. One day.

What didn’t your parents let you do as a teenager?

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