Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free To Be

I stayed up late enough last night to watch Sarah on Jimmy Kimmel Live. I had thought I’d just go on to bed and watch it on Tivo in the morning, but I was really too excited to sleep. If you missed it, it’s available at

When Walker came down for his nightly snack, well after midnight, he was startled to see me up, but sat with me while I watched the interview without much reaction. I think he has mixed feelings about seeing one of his beautiful sisters on television.

He really didn’t realize that Sarah was a big deal until one Sunday morning several years ago when he discovered her in a Target ad for the DVD of the first season of Brothers and Sisters. Up until that point he had been somewhat uncomfortable with her being in ads or on television “in her underwear”. (Actually she was just on the hang tags and posters at Target in a bikini, but I can see how his adolescent brain might perceive that as inappropriate for his sister.) He became a minor celebrity himself at Super Cuts when he pointed out to his barber that the girl in the big poster hanging from the ceiling was his sister.

As I watched Sarah’s interview again with her dad this morning, she looked beautiful and told some tales of her somewhat unconventional life in a charming and funny way. I kind of gulped a bit when she told about pilfering free cooking oil from restaurants in her neighborhood. We recently became aware that in her concern for the environment, she is actually breaking the law. The waste oil that she harvests to run the old automobile she had converted to run on what has been a free source of energy has become a commodity worth almost as much as gasoline. Could she be indicted on a felony because she is using someone’s waste grease?

You know what, I’d hate that for her, but know that the world won’t come to the end if she is. My job of guiding all of my children and teaching them right from wrong ended years ago—thank goodness! The greatest gift I have given any of them is the freedom to choose their life paths just as soon as they evidenced some capacity to make good choices. Along with that freedom, though, I made it clear that the responsibility of bearing the consequences if their choices was theirs too.

I know… I delivered a paper to school occasionally to keep them from losing 10 points on a test. We got the dents in the cars fixed when they inevitably had their first accidents. The price they paid for getting bailed out was sometimes a lecture, sometimes other punishments, but never involved me taking over the jobs I saw as theirs.

I hope I’ve done a good job. Today is one of those days when I’m pretty sure I did.


1 comment:

anneglamore said...

Loved seeing Sarah last night - her shoes were killer! The boys are going to want to watch also-- only Finn knows she's on TV. The others just know her as "Miss Molly's little sister."

I was hoping she'd talk about worms instead of grease!