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There's Just Something About Mary




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

She's 21 going on 22.  She says she wants to be a lawyer, but I've seen how she interacts with kids (and adults) and personally think she is better suited for a career in social services.  She is currently a junior majoring in PolySci at Loyola Marymount where she maintains a 3.0 GPA, a GPA she's certain won't be enough to get her a full scholarship to law grad school although she still plans to apply.

Her mom, a first-generation Italian-American with roots in Bari, Italy, passed away from breast cancer after being in remission for 12 years.  Her youngest daughter (the subject of this post) was 13 at the time.  One of the things her mom taught her was that Family comes first.  No matter what.  This summer she is working 70 hours a week giving private swim classes, and working as a lifeguard and swim coach because "there never seems to be enough money."  She lives in a 2-bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment with her older brother, her teenage nephew and her older disabled sister and acts as caretaker.  Her father is absent.  She smiles a lot.


She is a breath of fresh air with a great deal of responsibility at such a tender age, but has yet to fully mature in areas like returning phone calls when she promises to or fibbing when she's embarrassed.  And yes, we've talked about this.


Sharing a (catch & release) starfish with campers.
In 2011, she went to the US Virgin Islands for the first time and served as a lifeguard/staff member for OBG Adventure Camps' CampCaribe and was outwardly and exuberantly in awe of the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful place.  A few days ago, I told her that I would be taking her to Paris with me in 2013 where she will get her world rocked while she works for me in between experiencing the glorious City of Light.  In early 2013, we'll make a ceremony out of getting her first passport on Passport Day in the USA (the US Department of Consular Affairs has sworn me to secrecy about the date until it is released to the public).  When I asked her if she was excited, she said - in that I-almost-don't-believe-I'm-going-to-Paris way - that it just didn't seem real yet.  Oh, but it is.


I'm not sure why I feel attached to her, but I admit that I do...and I'm super cool with it.  She has exhibited patience and tenacity when I didn't and she is always high spirited and positive.  She has excellent listening and critical thinking skills.  She is a sponge and in case you hadn't noticed by the contents of this post, an open book.  I'm rooting for her and hope to be able to be a small part of giving her a world view.  I can't wait to go on another adventure with this Brown Girl.  =)

There's just something about Mary.


That's Mary in the middle at CampCaribe 2011.

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