Friday, May 10, 2013

Small Town Girl No More

This afternoon I had to drive over to the school so the 6th grader could trade her book bag for an overnight bag since she's spending the night at a friend's house. This friend is from Russia and they just moved into this huge house they built. Oligarch? Mobster? Former arms dealer? Who knows, but it makes for interesting stories about the lifestyle they lead as related to me by my younger daughter via her uncensored Russian friend.

The senior wanted to go to Oxford Street in London for a bit of shopping after school... and so she did. I dropped her at the commuter train station here in our town with a bit of cash and armed with her debit card. In just six short weeks we move home to Texas and this proximity to one of the greatest European capitol cities will all become a lovely memory. I forget how cool that is most of the time, living in the 'burbs of London. Hop on a train after school or on weekends to take advantage of all the city has to offer. 

As I was sitting on the sofa petting the dog and thinking about what this experience of living abroad has meant to us as a family late this afternoon, I realized it has undoubtedly had the greatest impact on our senior. Back when we were given the opportunity to move over here, I was most worried about the teen's transition. However, she was on board from the start and has loved every minute of it. I'm afraid we may have to sedate her to get her back to Texas. It's a good thing she'll be headed off to university in another part of the US about two months after our return because she's getting accustomed to conquering new places. And she has already started checking out study abroad options before she has even attended freshman orientation to get registered for her first semester of classes.

This reminded me of what I had thought was an old saying, something about keeping 'em down on the farm. Come to find out, it's a song titled "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm? (after they've seen Paree)". It's an oldie from 1918, World War I.

I think that pretty much sums it up for our oldest. She came, she saw, she traveled, she shopped and now she's not gonna be content in small town Texas anymore. But that's the way it should be, leaving the nest to follow her dreams and choose her own path in life. 

Thanks to my middle-aged mind that takes these side trails and digresses, I started thinking about the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" that was originally released when I was  a teen. And thanks to the popularity of the TV show Glee, my daughter is familiar with it 30ish years after I was recording it off the radio onto a cassette tape to enjoy later on my boom box. Small town girls taking trains, seeking something more, closing a window to open the door, moving out, moving on and making the most of her tomorrows. That sounds like pretty good advice everyone could follow.

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