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Independence Day

Independence Day

July 4th makes me think about taxes.

It’s not what you think.

It’s not about “taxation without representation” or the tax on tea that helped spark a war with a king.

It’s about the ties to April 15 – and something my son once said.

When Jacob was in high school, and slowly numbing himself with alcohol and drugs, I couldn’t think beyond today.   Tomorrow happened if we all woke up the next morning.

Would there be life after high school?  Would he grow out of whatever “phase” this was?  Or would addiction strangle hope for his healthy future, just as it does for so many others.

It was impossible to imagine what came next.

But after years of struggle – his and mine – recovery slowly took hold.

He got a job and held onto it.   He bought a car and paid for its insurance.

Eventually, he paid for a house.

And he began paying for something else.

I will never forget the first time I heard him say it.  It was at an AA meeting, early in his recovery, one of many he invited us to attend with him. His talk to the gathering of young men went something like this:

“Now I have a job.  I own a car.  And I pay taxes.”

The final validation.  Look at me.  I am an adult.   I am awake and aware.  A full-fledged member of society.

I’ve grown up.

For those early months in Jacob’s recovery there were so many firsts.

But none that make me smile more – even laugh – than my son’s pride in that very American act.

Here’s to Independence Day.

4 Replies to “Independence Day”

  1. Hillman, you write “goodly.” 🙂 Special piece about July 4th, thank you so much. It not only is true, it opens my mind to one more way of looking at this Independence Day.

    1. Haha. Yes…I know? Don’t we want our kids to “be independent?”
      Thanks for reading Larry.

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