Always On Her Side
AMERICAN CRUCIBLE, Part 6
As told by Arpine Babloyan
Photography & Editing by Ashia Ray
– Arpine B.
A GOOD TRADITION
These days, when I wake up, my daughter is already awake. Sometimes I see that she is in her room, Skyping my parents who live in Russia.
Bianca’s father moved out when she was four. I was as looking for a way for her not to be in the house when her dad and all his stuff moved out. She knew that was happening. I told her ‘When you come back, Daddy will not be living with us.’ She would not see what’s going on in the house. I felt like it would be painful for her to actually watch that. I couldn’t send her camp or anything expensive. I thought – ‘Oh!, that’s a good way of sending her away, she could spend time with my parents.‘
My parents were super happy – they had an idea of what was going on, but I didn’t have to explain it. They paid for it too! So that worked out, and then she started going every summer. It was the beginning of a good tradition.
I wanted her to come back to see that at least one thing was better, not worse, that things were still okay. While she was away, I scrambled to pick up a free swingset I found on Craigslist and some co-workers helped me put it together. She has a trampoline now, too. It’s amazing all the things I can get for free.
No matter what difficulties happen in life, my daughter and I love each other and I am always on her side, we are one team, even when we get in an argument.
I work very hard and do everything in my power to give Bianca a seamless childhood, which may not necessarily be visible but I hope that she realizes this when she gets older. I never want her to feel deprived of anything, but also don’t want her to feel entitled – and would love her to remember that I worked hard to play hard, and enjoy our time together.
Now Bianca wants to be a doctor – that’s great. Good dream! If she sticks with this dream, I want that for her. But she’s still fairly young. If she changes her mind along the way, she could say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be a doctor anymore, I want to be something else,’ No matter what, I will be proud of her and I want her to know that.
I think that my strengths as a parent are my ability to always forgive, to be creative, to trust my daughter while protecting her, and to always support her in her interests and desires. Of course want her to be successful or to be happy and that’s what every parent wants for their child. Because I care about her grades and I ask her about them, she says I have these huge expectations on her and I project something on her. I don’t really. I just want her to maximize her potential, whatever that is, and I want her to think that there are dreams that are worth going after.
OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS
I also want her to learn that what other people think of you doesn’t matter. She’s at that age when you want to be accepted, you want to be liked, and you care so much about what other people think that you forget sometimes what’s inside you – and how you feel, and what you think, and who you are.
I want her to be able to always find herself and always remember who she is no matter what she does and why.
…Read more in Part 7: Everything That Matters
This session is from the Invisible Obstacles Series. Families in the Invisible Obstacles series provide a glimpse into daily life while navigating adversity. Names and locations of minors may have been changed to protect privacy. Permission & quotes attributed to Arpine B. unless otherwise specified.
If you enjoyed the Invisible Obstacles Series, find out how to support Ashia’s do-goodery projects on Patreon.