You Don't Always Need Protection

“I can do this!”
“Honey, you’re talking about throwing your life away!”
“No, Mom! I’m talking about saving one!”
“You’ll be missing your Spanish immersion trip and your volunteer hours at the nursing home, and you know colleges look more favorably upon students with community service experience.”
“I just want you to think this through! It’s major surgery! What if something goes wrong?”

I stared silently out the window, tears blurring my vision. I had thought this through. My mother took my silence for backing down.

“Mom, I know you love me and want the best. But Hailey is my half-sister. You may not like her because she’s Dad’s, But I can’t let her die if I have a kidney that is a match.”
I took a big, calming breath. “Besides, think of how this will look on my college app. Donated kidney to dying girl. They’ll eat it up. I’m a big girl now. 18. It’s my decision.”

I knew Mom was upset, but it was time she stopped sheltering me. It was time I took some initiative; time I separated from her.

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