Support that matters

A while ago, I talked about the experience of telling my parents that I decided to move to France. I had been really nervous to tell them, and really unsure of how they would react. I was afraid they would think it was a bad idea. I was afraid they would ask me questions about how I was going to do it, or about my relationship, or about something else that would make me doubt the decision and doubt myself.

After I broke the news, I called the experience “anticlimactic”. And it was, in a sense. After all that buildup and stress about their response, the fact that they were totally fine and never asked those scary questions made it seem like a meow instead of a roar. It was “meh” instead of “ahhh”

But looking back, I regret my choice of words, to a point. While it was true to my feelings at the time – and I won’t edit those feelings in hindsight – I think in some ways it’s a bit unfair.

I had a lot of anxiety built up around the idea of telling them, and the letdown of them being perfectly fine with it manifested as anticlimactic. In reality, it’s really amazing how supportive they are of this idea, and how they immediately jumped on the bandwagon.

They asked what my plan was, but they didn’t push. They let me figure things out, and tell them about it. They helped enormously as I began packing and moving.

They made phone calls and researched movers and storage facilities both with me and for me. They visited storage places to find the good ones so my time could be focused on work during the week and go out to see the ones that were worth it on the weekends. My mom drove into the city every single weekend for weeks in a row – with fresh baked goods, no less – to give moral support and intensive help packing all my things. And she carried bags and bags of things home with her, which my dad immediately put in his car to take over to a donation spot.

In the months since that post, my dad has been increasingly decisive about coming to visit me in Paris, as well. You may remember that he initially told me that he wouldn’t come to France, that I would have to come home to visit. I was disappointed, and though my mom explained that it was just his awkward reaction and of course he would come, it still was tough. I know he’s not comfortable with flying, especially that length of time. I know he’s nervous about it, for a variety of reasons.

But today I got a text from my Dad that he had submitted his passport application.

People ask if my parents are sad. I just answer that they’re excited for me. And they are. And I know that. And that’s pretty cool.

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