DEAR ABBY: I am a 19-year-old college freshman living at home. I can't afford to move out, but my mother is driving me crazy!
If I didn't resist, she would take my hand and lead me through the rest of my life. She still tries to pick all of my friends and make every single decision for me. Worst of all, she comes looking for me to see if I'm where I'm supposed to be, and who I am talking to.
Don't get me wrong, I love my mom. I don't know how I would have made it this far without her. But how can I get through to her that I want to be my own person, and it's time to "let me go"? -- HAD IT WITH MOM
DEAR HAD IT: Your mother loves you, but she is carrying it too far. Show her one of my favorite poems from "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran. It has helped more than a few overly protective parents "let go."
"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
"You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite and he bends you to his might that his arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable."