Search This Blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nikki's Shoes

By Nikki's Dad
July 20, 2009

Dear Nikki,

Tonight is an important night for all of us. Your mother and I find ourselves in an awkward position as we've spent the past thirteen years trying to guide and raise you and to always be a good example for you. Tonight you've reversed the playing field as we believe you - have become a good example for us.

Tonight our little girl is no longer little as you've made a conscious, adult decision to travel to a foreign land, without the security of your parents, without our influence either, for this you've come upon - "all by yourself (your famous line for every one of your accomplishments as a baby)."

My mind goes back to when you were your little sister's age (2), how hurried you were to shed your youth. You wore Mommy's shoes, Daddy's helmet and anything else that you thought made you "a big girl."

Here you are at 13 (just barely) and you're so filled with love and compassion for humanity that instead of spending warm summer afternoons like we did, playing sports, riding bikes or catching fireflies, you chose to travel to the equator, to an impoverished land, plagued with poverty, hunger, and an unstable government. You not only chose to do it, but you do it without fear, eyes and mind wide open, screaming Geronimo the entire way!

Tonight you'll board a flight and climb into the heavens bound for your adventure. We're sure you're vibrating with excitement and so you should, for your life is about to be changed from this day forward - for the rest of your days. Your mother and I are nervous, fearful even. It's what we parents do when outside forces pull our young away and replace their presence with uncertainty. What helps us balance out all those fears is the absolutely enormous pride we have for our "little" girl. You - are - a big girl now.

Like I said earlier, you've reversed the playing field. Mommy and I now find ourselves awkwardly clumping around - in Nikki's shoes.

"Geronimo my love. Geronimo!"

Come home soon and tell us all about it.

Nicolette in Nicaragua - 2009