Monday, September 7, 2009

no worries, mommy and daddy

I'm leaving for San Francisco tomorrow by car. It's my first time to drive for that long by myself, and at first I considered flying and renting a car up there. It'd be too costly, though, and I didn't want to have a fixed departure date in case I need to stay there longer. Yes, I was car-less and license-less when I arrived in the States, but I've been driving for two years now. I'm pretty sure I can handle it. Well, I was, until my parents started overreacting.

When I told my mother about the trip, she sounded fine. She must've thought about it overnight, then, because the next day, she e-mailed me asking if I have thought about taking the plane. I explained to her about the cost and the freedom of not having fixed dates, along with the comfort of driving in my own car. She replied to me today begging me to take the plane, offering she would pay for the tickets, the car and everything. "Please. My heart is already pounding just to think about it," she told me.

Then my father also e-mailed me and asked me why don't I take the plane instead. "Your mother is worried," he wrote. When I didn't reply for a few hours--I was packing--he even called me, which he hardly ever does, not even when my mother had a surgery and I was eagerly waiting for his call.

Parents, it's not such a big deal! It's just a seven-hour drive!

I told them I'd be fine, that I knew the way because I'd driven the same route before. They finally said okay and stopped e-mailing me. I sighed and went back to packing.

Then I realized I was feeling a bit unsure about the drive myself. My parents' worry, based on the belief that I may not make it, made me lose some confidence. It was a rare feeling for me, for my parents, especially my mother, has always been blindly trusting of my ability. Whatever I decided to do, she never doubted I could do it. I hardly ever heard "What if you can't?" as I grew up. Imperfect as they are as parents--who aren't?--that was one of the best things they've done in raising me; trusting me with my decisions.

I still have a hint of worry in me thanks to my parents' sudden and unusual act of overprotectiveness though deep inside, I know it'll be fine and it'll add to my confidence as a driver (which probably shouldn't grow that much). If I have doubt, I can trust myself at the end, because that's what I learned growing up. So parents, please just say "You can do it!" to you child even when you're unsure--or maybe don't say anything discouraging at least and let them do it. From a child's perspective, I tell you. That helps. Really.