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感谢你给了我自由 Thanks for the Freedom


  My mother always reminds me that on the first day of kindergarten, while other kids were crying for their moms not to go, I was telling her to leave already. She usually tells this story to others proudly. But to me she says it a little more hesitantly[迟疑地]—sort of like, “Yeah, you always thought you were grown up.”
  Though she likes to brag[夸耀] about my accomplishments[成就], I think my mom is like most parents in wanting her kids to need her and learn from her. Most parents worry about their children being out in the world on their own.
感谢你给了我自由 Thanks for the Freedom  Ironically, it's from my mother that I inherited[遗传] my self-sufficiency[自足,自负]. I don't break down easily, and neither does she. I'd rather help people than be helped. She's always putting others before herself, and I tend to do the same thing.
  At times my mom has been uncomfortable seeing these qualities in me. For example, when I was 12, I went to Puerto Rico all by myself to stay with my grandmother for the summer. My mom was extremely nervous about it. She kept telling me how things were different in Puerto Rico, to always put on sunscreen, not to wander[漫步] away from my grandmother, and other warnings. She helped me pack and did not leave the airport until she saw my plane take off.
  But despite her worries, she let me go on my own. As I moved into my teens, she continued to give me space to grow and learn, even when it might have been difficult for her. Sure, there were times when she'd nag[不断地唠叨] me about certain choices I made, but for the most part she did not stand in my way.
  When I reached my senior year, I decided to move away for college. Once again I found that I differed from my peers[同等的人]: While many of them wanted to stay close to home, I couldn't wait to be out in the world on my own. I had been looking forward to this chance for longer than I could remember. And once again, while my mom may not have been happy at the thought of me going away, she was supportive and excited for me.
  The closer we got to me going away to college, the more trust my mother placed in me and the more she let me make my own choices. During senior year I had a lot on my plate: I had to apply to college, focus on my last portfolios[装在文件夹内的文件] to graduate, and keep up with my after-school programs, among other things. I handled most of this on my own. I made all the choices about which colleges to apply to. My mom stood by me and supported my decisions.
  Also, for a while I'd wanted to get a job. This was one thing my mom hadn't allowed me to do because she wanted me to focus on school. But as graduation approached[接近], she gave me the okay to get one. I guess she noticed how responsible I had been during senior year, and maybe she also figured that she should start learning to let go a little before I moved away.
  One big thing I realized during my senior year was that she actually believes in me and trusts me. That means a lot. Most of my life, and especially when I was little, the main person I tried to impress was my mother. I knew she expected nothing but the best from me. Sometimes it was hard to live up to[实践,做到] her standards; getting a single B on my report card would make me feel bad because I knew she wanted me to have all A's.

  So when she showed me by letting go that she believes in the person I've become, it felt good. I know that her high standards have helped me stay focused on what's important, like education, and made me who I am. I am thankful for her support and involvement in my life. Most of all I respect her; she is the strongest woman I know and that's why I have turned out so strong and independent.