Recently, we were at our local toy store, which we go to all the time. Franco likes to play with the train table and there was another boy his same age. They started playing together, shouting out directions like, “move out the way, train coming.” It was super cute and I welcome these informal play experiences since Franco’s an only child.
I spent 20 minutes chatting with the boy’s mother and walked away realizing how much of a bubble I live in—a bubble of severe privilege.
- Like when she asked if I rented or owned.
- Or when she asked if the preschools I had toured were free or whether I would have to pay.
- Or when she told me that the bath toy I was about to buy was half the price at Walmart.
On that last point, I grew up in a household that scoured for the cheapest price, where we rarely turned on the heat and only went out to eat on special occasions. I grew up with an immigrant mindset that is foreign to how I currently live my life.
- As I look to buy Hamilton tickets on the Orpheum theater website.
- Or plan a girls getaway to Portland.
- Or a family vacation to LA and Palm Springs.
- Or take a day off for International Women’s Day.
Luckily, several things still keep me grounded.
- Like when my parents frown when we say we are going out to eat again.
- Or when my mom sends me a bill for items that they pickup from Costco or Walmart or Trader Joe’s.
- Or when I go on a shopping spree, but end up returning 90% of the stuff that I bought. It’s that inherent cheapskate in me!
It was challenging being the child of immigrants, being born American, and molded by a tiger mom. But after visiting the Philippines, I grew up with a profound appreciation for what I had.
I think one of my biggest challenges is raising a son who appreciates that 3 of his 4 grandparents are immigrants and that he lives a privileged life. How will I do that?
- Make him volunteer.
- Take him to the Philippines.
- Make him get a job.
I have no idea. Parents: what do you do?