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A small story:

That’s my daughter, in the water/I lost every time I fought her

“I can see my breath,” Kid said as we staggered under bags we were going to shove in the trunk of the car, “Guess I’d better get used to that.”
I believe humans break down into two groups, Stays and Gos. The Stays will arrange to spend their entire lives within forty-five minutes of the house in which they grew up. If forced to leave for reasons beyond their control, they will spend their lives trying to get back.
I am a Stay. I can’t drive past the house in which I grew up without crying. There are whole parts of the city in which I have lived my entire life I have never explored. The person who would eat a burrito every meal for the rest of her life craves no novelty.
The Kid is a Go.
Since she was tiny, she has pined for the chance to see what the rest of the world is like. At 15, she took a month-long class in Italy and fell into mild despair when she returned. A Stay experiences homesickness; a Go learns to live with wanderlust blueballs.
She spent her senior year of high school in France. The program, we were dismayed to learn, absolutely sucked eggs and not those “Fresh from a Provencal farm” sort of eggs. There were long stretches where she felt absolutely alone, attacked, without a single friend or resource.
Had I had her experience, my Stay nature would have taken the logical moral of “Away is terrible. Now, you have confirmation. Never leave Los Angeles again. Ideally, never go further than twenty minutes from your home.”
Kid decided the program had sucked.
That’s it.
Her desire to Go remained.
When she applied to college, she had a checklist of essential requirements; it had to be a liberal arts college with lots of travel opportunities, small classes, the chance to help design your major.
I noted, both as a mother and as a Stay, that there was a highly-regarded university which met all those requirements eleven minutes from our house. She rolled her eyes and said, “Which is why I am not applying to that school.”
She got into her first choice. She took the option of being abroad for her first semester. Once again, she was a Go, living in another language, seeing things I have never seen, learning the differences between cultures.
For example, she now knows that France and Costa Rica both have a Latin outlook and not very tall men, but when obscenities are screamed at you in each country by men driving past, their choices are very different.
One time she turned to tell of the car-screamers in her now idiomatic and fragrantly obscene Spanish and saw they were police officers. “The flics would do it, but at least they would wait until they weren’t in their damn car. That's Tico mentality,” she explained.
Hearing this story, a Stay shudders in horror. A Go happily comes back with a story about an overly-thorough officer they dealt with in Vietnam.

Neither is wrong. They entered the world different. The best you can do when you love one of the other kind is wish them well.
Today, she left for college.

Again, she goes.
But this isn’t a backpack filled with clothing designed to be washed out in hostel sinks and water filters, which she will then bring back home. This isn’t a duffel bag full of textbooks and a gift for her French host family for hosting her for a year, after which she comes home.
This is her new life.
When she arrives at her dorm, there is a bag of sheets and towels waiting for her. She just left her home, but she is also flying towards her home. Three and a half years from now, she will fly towards another home.
“They come back after college,” friends tell me. I have enough friends with thirty year olds at home to know this is a fact. But those people are Stays, who are relieved to have a world in which what they’re temperamentally inclined to do is now socially acceptable.
Our Kid loves us, we know this. She has some sense of how deeply we love her. Because we love her that much, we know the Go part isn’t any more controllable than her height. As much as we want her around, we want her happy and fully alive far more.
The person we put on the plane today was eager to get going.
Kid has landed, changed planes. Apparently at least two Stays are on her second flight.
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