The day you drive to the airport …
It’s been seven years … I will never forget. The night before that we spent in a hotel room in Roissy. The drive to the airport, 5 miles away. The surprise of my brother in law who met with us just a couple hours before we boarded …
Yes, seven years since we left our country (France for that matter). Let’s be honest, they were seven years of happiness and comfort, not from leaving our country of course. Just from being in a place where we feel good, where we feel safe, where our children have been growing up in what looks like a perfect environment coming right up from a happy ending movie.
Everybody is helpful, caring and thoughtful. Kids come first, no matter what. Everything is made to make them happy. Everything … to help them forget that they are probably the first, second or third generation of immigrants. Anyone who went through the immigration process (visa, green card, ….) would tell you how stressful this is and yet …. this is worth it. You’re living the dream. Something you might have dreamt about since you’re eight or something you realized was possible when you were twenty five. It does not matter. You simply feel right where you are. Cozy, at home (at least until Trump becomes President of the United States of America).
Yet, anyone, really anyone who has been through this would tell you, it does not come without sacrifices.
Today my seven year old son asked me:
“why couldn’t grandpa and grandma do like we did. Just leave France and come live with us in the US?”.
Let’s me honest, many answers came to my mind but eventually none of them felt right. We made a choice a few years ago, they made a choice long time ago. We’re all right but at the end, it leads to painful moments (mostly happening at the airport). It feels particularly odd because we (my wife and I) made that choice …. not our children.
Today … I drove my parents to the airport and I saw how sad they were and how sad my boys were. It made me sad, of course. I like to think that my parents understand why we made that choice, and that one day, our sons will understand too. It was not because we did not like our country or our family, of course NOT! We simply wanted to live a dream, meet new people, face new challenges and give a chance to our children to live in a world, not just a country.
At the end, I’m not even sure why I’m writing all that. Was that to tell France how much I like this country (especially after the terrible events it went through in 2015)? Was that to tell the US how grateful I am that it welcomed us? Was that to tell my parents how much I love them? Was for me to tell my kids that one day they will better understand what we did for them? I’m not sure, probably a little bit of everything.
But no matter what, my sons, I want you to know that mom and dad love you and grandpa and grandma love you too, wherever we live, wherever they live.