In honor of Independence Day and the fact that my son goes to college this fall, I thought I’d reprint a column I wrote last year for the Herndon Patch. Any resemblance to historical documents is purely coincidental, in a purposeful parody kind of way.
“The Declaration of A Son’s Independence”
by Ron Culberson
In a short 13 months, my son will fly the coop and continue his academic career outside the home, hopefully, at a college of his choice. In 2 short days, our country will celebrate its independence from British Rule. I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the intent of the original colonies and that of my son.
In anticipation of his departure, I prepared this document which will dissolve the traditional parental relationship in hopes of a new and more independent collegiate one for him, hopefully with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
In Herndon, August 2012
The Unanimous Declaration of the United Family of Culberson
When in the Course of family events, it becomes necessary for an eighteen year old to dissolve the parental bands which have connected him with a mother and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Adolescence and of Nature’s God entitle him, a decent respect to the opinions of adulthood requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to attend college and party hearty.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all college men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, as long as they get a job and can pay for them, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sorority Girls. That to secure these rights, universities are instituted among professors, deriving their just powers from the consent of the educated. That whenever any Form of Parental Overbearance becomes destructive, or incapable of keeping up with the son’s increasing knowledge, it is the Right of the Son to alter or to abandon it, and to institute new education alternatives, which includes Cliff Notes and all nighters, laying the foundation on majors of study and organizing keg parties in such a form, as to him shall seem most likely to effect his Freedom, Happiness, and A Good Paying Job.
Prudence and the need for boundaries, indeed, will dictate that long established residences at home under parental guidance should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that adolescents are more disposed to suffer chores and parental embarrassment than to right themselves by abolishing the tyranny to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses such as mothers’ dancing in public and fathers wearing black socks with shorts seek displays a design to embarrass him under absolute Despotism (it means “rule”, I looked it up), it is his right, it is his duty, it is inevitable due to a hormonal imbalance, to throw off such Parental Control, and to provide new Sources for his future security such as roommates, fraternity brothers, and academic advisors who most likely hide their black socks under trousers.
Such has been the patient sufferance of this young man which constrains him to alter his former Confines of Parenting. The history of the Parents rule is a history of repeated demands to clean up his room and put the dirty dishes away, all having the direct goal of absolute Tyranny over him. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid reader.
At the age of two, the Queen Mother forced him to consume a single strand of spaghetti before being allowed to get out of his high chair.
At the age of three, the parental tyrants did not relent to his wish to buy the $2,500 Tibetan Mastiff puppy he viewed in a pet store window.
In middle school, he was forced by the King Father to wear dress shoes to the cathedral even though they troubled his feet.
In high school, he was repeatedly forced to operate a weed trimer, albeit with remuneration, after a strenuous time of mowing.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United Family of Culberson, in a General Family Meeting Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world and our Homeowner’s Association for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the Son in this Family, solemnly publish and declare, That this son, as of next year and assuming he actually does get accepted to an institution of higher learning, ought to be a Free and Independent Man, that he is Absolved from all Allegiance to his parents, except for tuition, room, and board, and when he returns home during breaks, and that all connection between him and the parents is and ought to be totally dissolved, except that he be required to visit regularly and unless, of course, he needs something.
So be it.
Signed: Ron Hancock (imagine a very fancy signature).