Posted by: chlost | May 18, 2010

When your children surpass you

Today my daughter was defending her thesis for a Master’s Degree.  She wrote a 76 page paper on issues of gender and acclimation to changes in culture, or something like that.  She did research on college students who were in a study abroad program and compared how the men’s and women’s attitudes and adjustments differed. 

Okay, I went on to a professional degree after college.  My husband has his BA.  We both wrote a lot of papers.  Neither of us, and probably both of us combined never wrote 76 pages.  Neither of us had to actually get up in front of a bunch of people (she invited people from many different departments and students who she studied) and explain what we researched and field questions about it.  She did a power point presentation of her research and conclusions. 

This is so impressive to me. I don’t think  I could do that, even if I had to save my children’s lives. I can’t believe that she is my daughter.  Obviously, I am proud of her.  But it goes beyond that.  She is now an adult who has surpassed both her father and I in our professional lives.  She could be my supervisor if I were to apply for a job in the office where she hopes to work.

This is amazing.  I have read the history of immigrants who have watched their children succeed in a new country.  I’ve heard of the mothers who worked cleaning toilets to put their children through medical school.  Or, imagine that your child became the president of the United States.  I know just a little bit of how they must feel (I also wonder how it feels when you see that child fail as President of the United States).  I can’t take responsibility or credit for all of her work. She did it all.  I know that she will likely do a lot more in the future.

Right now, I am trying to handle the concept that I am an underachiever in comparison.  It actually feels sort of good!



  1. It’s cool when you see your kids succeed. And don’t underestimate yourself… it’s the nurturing environment and support that helps them be successful.

  2. Ypu have a right to be proud!!!!!!!

  3. You should be proud! Remember, the kids don’t just accomplish everything on their own in life. You parents play a HUGE role in how their lives turn out.

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