As a parent, as a Chinese parent, I’ve been raised to put a lot of emphasis on academia. It’s in my blood – it’s natural. Even though I was born and raised here in Canada, that part was ingrained into me – albeit I’m a more water-down version of my parents.
And I do put emphases on academia. I have. Quite a bit. To the point where I find myself getting anxious over my daughter’s grades. I realized I needed to chill out a bit, though. While it’s still my job to ensure she is doing well in school (i.e. performing well, not failing, being respectful to peers and teachers, etc.) I also did not want to pass my anxieties on to her. She is becoming her own person and needs to take her own accountability on such matters. It’s a work in progress – I’m not perfect and I slip back to old habits. More than I would like to admit.
There are, as I have discovered many times in my near 14 years of raising her, moments that have nothing to do with academia but still, I find myself in awe with how much she surprises me – and how much she makes me proud.
Over the weekend, her and I were talking. And yes, of course it was about k-pop. And of course it was about her favorite idols. These days it seems most of our conversations start with k-pop though it may end elsewhere only to return to k-pop.
A friend of her at school was saying how she would not be happy if she found out her idol was gay simply because she respects her idol so much, if they are gay, then she would feel let down.
Yeah. Pretty homophobic statement. I am not completely surprised though. It’s a private school and a LOT of the parents are ultra-conservative and not open to accepting different lifestyles than their own. Which makes it difficult for me to make new friends among them. I am the black sheep, after all. I’m THAT parent. Whom doesn’t bat an eye if I find my daughter using curse words (we’ve talked about it – I tell her I don’t mind so long as she is responsible with how she uses curse words). I’m the one that sends her daughter beautiful photos of her bias, Kim Taehyung just to torture her for my amusement. And I’m that parent who wouldn’t care if her child comes out one day to me, stating she is gay or bisexual, etc. I’ve always told her such things do not matter to me or her father so long as she is happy and not hurting herself or anyone else. We’ve always done our best to raise her with a good heart and not to judge others on such things – because what is there to judge?
I’m that parent. In a world where we are increasingly becoming more progressive and open, it’s amazing that in a big city such as Toronto, I’m still finding myself, in such moments, as the minority. Why is that?
Anyway – so my daughter said she had a disagreement with said friend. She tried to reason with her but the disagreement started to escalate so my daughter dropped it. It was in class and she didn’t want to start a heated and loud argument.
So here’s where I can breakdown how proud I felt:
- She was confident with her stance.
- She tried to reason with her friend.
- She did not let her friend, whom she cares for dearly, to sway her beliefs.
- When the situation started to escalate, she knew when to bow out and keep the peace.
- She came to me and told me about this conversation – not to be praised but just to share with me what happened between her and her friend.
I would like to say I am responsible for her level of maturity. Because even as an adult, I don’t think I could have kept as level headed as she did. That was all her.