Eventually, every bird must leave the nest and learn to fly on his or her own. Every parent knows that this inevitable truth is coming at some point, yet they act surprised at that moment of truth. I feel as though Habesha parents seem to have a big problem with this subject matter.
All of our habesha parents seem to want us to grow up and move away from the nest. Whether it is moving out of town or out of the house. They seem to become shocked with utter disbelief when their Ethiopian-American offspring are ready to leave the nest and make a declaration of independence. Most Ethiopian Americans like myself grow up in closely knit family groups where everyone sticks together. As soon as one person leaves the nest it is sometimes thought that the child has abandoned his or her family. This is far from the truth. It is always amusing to me because it seems as though they forget that they left their homeland and went to a foreign country, on the other side of the world before they were even 18 for the most part. Parents complain about their kids sucking up all their resources, and constantly needing this or that. Then when the child is prepared to declare independence, it is as though the child has turned his or her back on his or her family. Note: this child is not actually a child anymore.
This opinion is based on my personal experience as well as the experience of those around me. I have several friends and family members that have moved away from their home towns, in search of something new. A new adventure, a new experience, following their dreams and passions. These are positive attributes where the Habesha parent should be proud. At the end of the day I truly do believe they are all proud. There is just a minor sting in their heart by the fact that their Ethiopian American child is no longer a child. A reality that we must all face.