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Whenever I look at my son, Baby FAF, and watch him grow into a bigger boy, I feel a sense of happiness and worry.
I’m happy because our little baby learns new things every day and shows us the joy of being parents.
I’m worried because I don’t know if and how I can best prepare him for his future.
Preparing for the best
One thing we know for sure is that we want to be financially secure to provide our son with the best education and tools he needs to be happy in the future.
I grew up in a low-income family in Vietnam and saw first-hand the impact a socioeconomic status has on someone’s self-esteem and how society treats them as an individual.
I have also seen the impact of a good education and hard work on someone’s success and opportunity.
I want Baby FAF to have well-off, if not wealthy, parents so that no one will give him the snarks or disregard I used to get when I was little.
If racism is still plaguing America, class discrimination is rampant in a largely homogeneous society like Vietnam.
Mr. FAF and I also want Baby FAF to get the best education we can possibly afford to give him.
Our parents have made the right decision to invest in our education.
That’s the best gift they have given us besides bringing us into this world.
A person can gain and lose their wealth overnight. But what will stay with them is the knowledge they’ve accumulated.
What I can’t prepare
No parent walks around hoping that their kid will get their heart broken one day. Just the thought of our son being emotionally drained from a relationship with a girl I barely know makes me uneasy. I sometimes find myself asking Mr. FAF who will be the girl that will make our son miserable for months and even years in the future.
If that happens, what’s the best thing I can do as a mother? How can I help my son get through something that almost everyone has to go through as an adult but no one wants to experience in their lives?
If the pain is physical, then I know what medicine to get him, what doctor to take him to, and what progress he’s made to recover. But if the pain is emotional, how do I know what medicine to get and how long it will take my baby to be happy again?How can I be happy when my son is in distress?
If someone is making my son suffer, what’s the best way to seek justice for him when there’s no legal framework or court cases for broken promises and lost affection? Many turn to antidepressants and psychologists to lift themselves out of despair, but does it really help?
When I was in college and got invited to a school staff’s Thanksgiving dinner, I remember my hostparent looking at her then carefree 15-year-old daughter and telling me, “I can’t wait until she gets her first heart-break.”
She tried to pass it off as a joke, but I saw the sadness in her eyes. I know she didn’t want her daughter to get hurt. But when something painful is looming, sometimes we just want it to happen fast so that we don’t have to wait anxiously and wonder constantly when it will occur.
I now feel her pain.
The cost of a broken heart
When I was in college, I heard a story about a male student who committed suicide after his girlfriend broke up with him. My school was located on a hill. There was a trail leading to the downtown area.
Everyone had to walk on that trail to get out of campus and explore the city. The male student chose to end his life along that trail.
I was shaken when I heard the story. I didn’t know him, but he had such a bright future ahead of him. I got a scholarship to go to an expensive private school where the tuition alone was around $40,000/year.
I don’t know if he took out student loans or had his parents cover the total costs. If he took out student loans and had his parents as a co-signer for private loans, his parents might have been in a tough financial situation besides dealing with their son’s passing. If his parents paid the tuition, they would see no return to their investment.
But the monetary aspect was probably the least concern they had in mind at the time. They just lost their precious son after 20 years of raising him.
A broken heart cost the young man his life and his parents their beloved son. No amount of money can make up for such loss.
Committing suicide over a breakup is an irrational thought and action. Why would someone give up their future for such a small incident in their life? The person who caused their heart-break might probably be enjoying their new life with someone else and don’t even remember they even existed.
But when a person is depressed, the thought of doing away with their life is perfectly rational: a suicide will put an end to all the pain that they have to endure. All the money, status, and wealth are worth nothing to them when they’re in excruciating pain.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the National Institute of Health, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America with 44,000 lives claimed each year. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers in the 10-14 age range, and the 2nd leading cause of deal among those in the 15-34 age range. Suicide cost America $50.8 billion in medical and work-loss costs in 2013.
I couldn’t find statistics that show what percentage of these deaths was due to romantic rejection. After all, it might be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of suicide when someone is long gone. But the data above shows that when the mind is not sound, it can lead to detrimental action and consequences no matter what the cause is.
Sometimes I get scared thinking of what might happen to my son when he leaves out nest and gets exposed to the cruelty of life. Mr. FAF and I can prepare for his education and support him financially if need be. But we can’t control his heart and who he will fall in love with.
All I can do is teach him what a good girlfriend and a good wife is supposed to be like, and hope that one day he will choose the right person who will make him happy and never break his heart.
We will also make sure that our son has the best and most affordable insurance plan that covers his physical and mental health conditions.
We can’t predict what will happen to Baby FAF’s feelings and emotions in the future. But we want to make sure that whatever happens, we have him covered and will watch him every step of the way.
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