March SOL Challenge #16
I had lunch with my sister, my mom and my niece yesterday. I haven’t seen my niece, Nydra, since Christmas time because she’s away at college. She is the youngest of three sisters who were adopted by my sister 17 years ago. Nydra was 4 years old when she became my niece. I was the principal of the school where the two older girls attended, but Nydra wasn’t in school yet, so I didn’t know her as well. She’s always been very quiet. To herself. Today at our lunch date, I saw a beautiful girl who has grown into a beautiful young lady.
It has been interesting to watch my little peanut grow and mature. As a young girl, Nydra was shy, timid, and sometimes angry. She seemed to bear the brunt of a violent life left behind. A drug addicted mother whose boyfriends came and went with their drugs and God knows what else. She fought with her sisters. She felt misunderstood. The two older girls were closer in age and much closer to each other than to her. Nydra felt like an outsider.
As she continued to develop into her teens she was still finding herself. It wasn’t until she finally made it to her second university (the first was a huge mistake. She followed her friends to a place she had no desire to attend) that she really came into her own. I’ve only met her college friends once, but they seem to be respectful and kind. Nydra started going out and having fun like a normal teenager while away at school. I’m sure I don’t want to know the gory details of her college life -but I believe deep down that she has been responsible and sensible in her home away from home. She has also identified some strong interests. She loves animals and decided to major in biology.
Today I learned that Nydra will be traveling in the spring to study abroad in Italy. This is something I would have never imagined her doing 17 years ago. It’s such a bold move. A trip that will lead to an even greater awakening in my youngest niece. I’m so excited for her. She has blossomed into a gorgeous young woman. I sat back and watched her at lunch as she helped my mom with her menu, with her purse, with the heavy chair as she rose to leave the table. She was so loving. So gentle. So happy. All of us.
Nydra and her grandma. xoxo