And it was in an ordinary car ride conversation, with my 16-year-old, that I heard this:
‘No! Rankings mean nothing mom! I do not want to go to Stanford, it doesn’t have anything to do with me! I wanna go to NYU!’
‘Ok, but all I’m saying is that you should at least apply, try, because it is only 20’ from home! You could still live with us, cut the costs and be with us!’
‘Mom; Stanford is just too close from home! I don’t wanna go to College and live with dad, you, Clara, Mateus! Why would I do that?!?’
Right! Why would she do that? Never mind about the odds of one being accepted into prestigious Stanford, no; she is just thinking: ‘Stanford? Yuk! Too close to my family, no thanks!’. Teenagers.
We moved from NY here, four years ago! Seriously?! I am kidding, I’d love her to go to NYU; it is an awesome College and I’d love to see her happy, that is all. I know we bring up our children to the world and that is a good (painful) thing.
It turns out that after being here for 4 years, if we now decided to go back to NY as a family, we would be quite divided: one teen would be very happy to leave NorCal; the other one… not so much.
Living in the Silicon Valley – in my own experience – is like being in love with the wrong kind of man. First you hate him; he is despicable! Then, you realize under all that hate there is some love…still you fight it! You say he is not your type, that you don’t see why every girl and boy is head over heels with the guy. Well, eventually you surrender. You are in love with the guy and yes, he is a jerk.
That is pretty much what I think is happening with my family. We hated it here then, we don’t like it here now and we are on the verge of saying we cannot see us living anywhere else!
So many opportunities springing out of every corner, here in the Valley. It is a harsh environment but, if you can stomach it, there is a lot to be gained.
As a mom, I do not know how much of it all I want for myself. I am fairly unsure if I can bear one more year here. The thing is, as a mom, it is quite excrutiating pain to see what it takes from your child to grow up in the Valley.
I saw it written on a T-shirt: ‘California: we grew here, you flew here’. My first thought was: I so would rather be the one who just ‘flew here’!
It is mixed feelings for me, as a parent, to live in Silicon Valley. Would I say to a friend who has kids: ‘Sure, by all means, come over! This is a wonderful place to raise a family’? Hell no! (lol) Still, would I have passed this opportunity away? Not really.
If you have just arrived here, or if you are struggling with your kids in the Silicon Valley…Do not let the culture of the place crush your kids.
Most of us parents of Middle and High schoolers, in the Valley, are going through the same ups and downs with our kids. But not every one of us is sharing the pain.
Hope it helps 😉