Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nikki the Nurturer

Our daughter has always been a nurturer. Back in pre-school, her teachers used to tell me that she was the one giving the orders when a class mate was injured; she held the crying pre-schooler in her arms, smoothing back the hair from their face and told the others what to do!

Not much has changed over the years; due to the fact that I can't stand the sight of blood, even my own, Nikki has always been the one to run for the neosporin and the band aids. She's wonderful with the cups of hot tea and honey when someone is ill with a cold or the flu. And my mother's surgery and recovery has just shown that she is still a natural in the art of comfort and care.

Everyone thought Nikki would go into the medical field in some capacity. Due to her strengths in science, her biology teacher in high school encouraged it. But, she can't stand needles. In every other way, she can handle the aspects of nursing, but not when it comes to the pointy, nasty looking things.

Every now and then, she considers going to nursing school or medical assistant school. Other nurses encourage her by telling her that they too were afraid of needles and got over it with practice and familiarity. But, Nikki just can't find it within herself to believe that she will ever, ever get over that fear.

Then there is the other side of her fits right in with care-giving, nurturing side of her being.....the desire to help children discover the best in themselves. She worked with the YMCA for several years either as a soccer coach, camp counselor or day camp leader....and she loved it. Her dad and I felt that she was at her best during those years. She especially was great with the ADHD kids, or those who live with other disorders...this came from living with her brother and seeing the social struggles he dealt with in his childhood.

I feel my adult daughter's struggle to decide just what it is she wants to do with her life....she knows that her nurturing nature is the part of herself that must be itself nurtured, but in what capacity? I feel it because I'm 48 years old and I still struggle between the genealogist and the musician and the "want to organize the world" portions of the person that I am......I still don't know what I want to be when I'm a grownup!

As far as Nikki's struggle to determine the course of her destiny, I feel hope. She has taken steps towards becoming a teacher.....although not the medical field, she will be responsible for the nurturing and care of folks......and she'll be good at it........and after 22 years of having my children in the schools, I know there is a great need for more teachers with a desire to nurture and not just be there for the pay check. Through the years, I've not heard enough teachers say "I'm not in the business of failing children, I'm in the business of helping them succeed!". I know that my daughter WILL be one of those teachers....the nurturing side of her will not allow for anything else.

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