My parents didn’t care.
Scratch that. They cared. And were overall supportive. I guess. There was just something… missing.
There was no surprise. No *Gasp!* or “Oh wow! That’s awesome!” or “Woahh” or “OMG Don’t do it!” Nada.
Telling my parents about my intentions to move to Paris was… anticlimactic. And I had been so anxious, so unsure of how they would respond. I wrote about it. And, to be fair, I didn’t know what to expect. What I got certainly wasn’t the way I thought it might go.
I blurted it out because my mom asked how Frenchman was dealing with the fact that he has to leave the country. And she asked how I was dealing with it. So I ripped off the band-aid even though I had planned to wait until my sister was there so support and soften the blow and provide a voice of positivity in the face of potentially debbie-downer questions.
I just said “well… actually… I’m looking for jobs in Paris.” And my mother just slightly smiled. And I started defending my reasons with statements of “…looking for jobs anyway” and “… I mean it’s Paris, right?” and “… good opportunity…” while she didn’t say much of anything. Except that she thought I might.
I mean. In all my life I’ve never seen my mother be so… nonchalant about a life decision. Not even a big one. For any decision, she has a million questions and opinions about all the things that make it hard or could go wrong. Or discouraging comments like “well what are you going to do about ___ ?!” said in a way that makes you feel defensive even if it’s a concern you’ve already taken care of.
No. This time there were no questions. No discussion of my options, of what needs to be done in order to make it happen, not even a query as to how the job market is in Paris or whether I had any leads. Nothing.
It was… bizarre.
And my father, he just sort of shrugged and said ok. Looked a little surprised. And the main thing he said was just that I better come home to visit because he wouldn’t be going there.
I’m my father’s baby and I know he’ll always be sad if I’m not nearby and he’ll always be proud if I’m doing something cool. I also know that he’s not really a traveler and France seems mighty far away when you’ve never gone and seen it yourself.
Don’t worry, Pops. It’s not so far. And it’s not forever. I’m going to do my best to convince you to come see my new home and my new life and this new continent you’ve never been to, but in the meantime it won’t be so long between trips home.
I can’t say I’m disappointed in my parents’ reactions. They didn’t disapprove.
In fact, they were really quite comfortable with it. Maybe they think I’ve got it all covered and I know what I’m doing? Weird.