California Girl

My daughter who is a senior in High School has several interesting options to consider for her higher education. Among the most serious, two would mean living California for the east coast and even moving abroad.
Well, if we consider Canada a foreign country.
For foreign-born parents, education after High School is perhaps an even bigger deal than for natives.
For us who grew up and studied somewhere far from the US, when our kids are accepted to college it means we succeeded. In addition, if the college is well ranked, it reassures us that we did as good of a job as native parents.
But sometimes, our expectations don’t match our child’s plans. Because we have left our native land behind we shouldn’t assume that our child is willing to do the same. Because we saw opportunities far from home we believe that our child will see the same possibilities.
Perhaps there is some nostalgia for these early days when everything was new for us to discover and explore, and the hope to see our child embrace the unknown like we did.
Perhaps there is an unconscious fear that our child will miss opportunities if like us she doesn’t go away.
But perhaps more than that, it is the clear realization that we have succeeded above expectations: we’ve raised a full blood American kid who belongs with her home state. 
Something that is never quite achieved for foreign-born parents, even well assimilated. A suitcase is never far from reach for an immigrant. We may never quite know why, but the possibility of packing and leaving again always tugs at us.
So, like her two sisters did a few years ago, my daughter will probably stay in California and study in one of the finest University of California Schools that many states envy us.
I’m a California girl, she told me last night.
And although she’s right and I should know it, I still think that like me she is French and has to go somewhere else.

%d bloggers like this: