I’ve been spending time with my lil 8-year old niece god-daughter lately. I’m totally that “aunt” or in my family “nina”, as we are all godparents to our kids, most of them know us as “NinaCarmen”, etc.. You better know that I love all of my godchildren as if they were my own.
Don’t ask me why, but a child’s 8th year has always seemed very special to me. I notice that these lil ones are starting to find out what they like, they start saying what they want to be when they grow up, they’re still not afraid or embarrassed to talk about what scares them, what they don’t like, things that bother them, what makes them happy. For some, the major issues haven’t engulfed them completely: drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, negativity.
I feel a huge responsibility to be there for them a lot, to listen to them, to ask them questions, to try to show them that I’m there for them no matter what, to guide them a little, to show them new parts of the world, to have an influence on their young lives, to try to keep them safe and secure, so that when the major issues come along, they may be stronger than drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, or negativity.
At some point in their lives, usually at 8 years old or so, I’ve brought in my godchildren into my business to show them how things work. This month, we’ve been promoting an upcoming event: I’ve been teaching her how to get up in front of people, pass out flyers for the event, we even put flyers on hundreds of car windows in 4 large parking lots and she did better than most adults I know. I wasn’t sure how she’d like this kind of work but, as we kept on with it, I could see her really working it.
As we drove around in the car, my lil mamita started to ask question after question after question, “Nina Carmen, why…?”and we talked about everything –from why she liked her 2nd grade teacher better than her 3rd grade teacher, about books that she reads at school, random things she’s learning about science, and how she does not like learning fractions this year. But what really got me was her desire to want to learn how to work it, to speak in front of people, and “how old were you Nina Carmen when you started doing this work?” Her lil mouth flew open when I said “EIGHT years old”.
I remember how cool it was to be the one chosen to run events when I was that little, granted, I didn’t do that much but it was such a big responsibility to me and it made me feel very special. I have never lost that feeling of how cool it is to be in charge and to run events. To this day, it is a rush to see how my events turn out, especially when there’s a full house and when people are having a great time. And, if any of the TorresBabies get behind a microphone, or start taking charge at an event, the smile is on my face for weeks.
On this day I was “training” this child to promote events. We were going into businesses to ask them to place some our event flyers near their registers. I was more nervous than my lil one was and, while she was apprehensive at first, I almost cried tears of pride when I heard this girl give what we in marketing call the “elevator speech”. Mamita worked it, expressed herself well, was poised, purposeful, confident and she got people to place her flyers by the register :). She even told me later that day, “Nina, I feel confident”. I would give every cent and dollar I will ever have that this baby girl always feels confident and ready to work it. My mamita can and WILL do better than I ever have.
I can go on and on about how I want to change the world. Being here for all of my godchildren and helping them to feel confident will be the best that I can for them. The TorresBabies will change part of the world I’m sure of this. I am happy to step aside and watch them move forward and soar.
But first, I will enjoy watching them live life thru their 8-year-old eyes, learning, having fun, and doing what makes them happy. Watching my lil one do what I did so many times as an 8-year-old, made me smile. She was writing down songs that she liked as we heard them on the radio. It’s amazing, that with so much technology to make our lives “easier”, isn’t it cool that children truly need none of that mess, all they need is a simple pencil and paper to write down the songs/and things that are important to them … and they need to be around people who love them, listen to them, support them. Hope this never changes.