Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is It Just My Imagination?

When I first met my goddaughter Daniela during my first trip to Perú, she was only 3 years old. It seemed to be an instant connection between the two of us. I will always remember the exhilarating wave of goodbye and the smile that she gave me as I headed back to the US. It would be another four years before I'd see her again, but I never forgot her. While back in the US, I've called from time to time to say hello and hear her voice. By the time she turned five, she would always ask when I was coming. She even asked if she could be my daughter, which to me was very fulfilling. From that day forth, I referred to her as my goddaughter, but in Perú, I refer to her as mi niña (my child). Her family gets a good laugh when I say that because they, not Daniela, know who her real father is. I generally wire money to her family with my motive being to benefiting Daniela. She was always excited and uplifted when I'd call.

I will never forget my first return to Perú when Daniela was seven, and the loving, ecstatic greeting she gave me. We used to go places holding hands like father and daughter, along with her friends and members of her family.

Today, the rapport that I have with Daniela is not as close as before. On my last trip, the excitement was no longer there, although I could still see it in her eyes. I don't know if she is just getting older (10) and more reserved, like her older sister (17), or is her family planting seeds reminding her that I am not family, only a gringo from America with a pocket full of money. It was strikingly strange for Daniela to hustle me into buying gifts for family members that they don't plan to use, like the bicycle I bought, per her request that ended up being sold by a family member. I was already warned by a Peruvian-American whose exact words were, those people are living in abject poverty and are strictly about the benjamins, moron! Time will tell! Meanwhile, I still feel unconditional love for Daniela, and hopefully, this is just my imagination.


  1. As people get older they get more reserved. Also when kids start becoming teens they get more rebellious and mischievous. Ask any parent who has kids who turn into teens. Eventually they lose there innocence of being a child and it is more about them.

  2. I definitely understand where you are coming from after living in Latin America for a few years. It's definitely nothing to hold against the person or to feel insulted by but the reality is we African Americans are extremely blessed. They live at a level of poverty that even the poorest in America can not imagine. Even the projects in the US have hot and cold water coming out of the faucets and many other "luxuries" that we tend to take for granted.

    Your god daughter is probably just growing up and growing out of the youthful exuberance and trust that most toddlers have. She may not see you as a walking wallet but chances are the people around her do.

    Like you said, you'll see as time goes by. Hopefully she will grow to appreciate having a godfather who is genuinely concerned with her well being and not after ulterior motives.

    It's snowing where I'm at in the US. Just moved back after over 4 years of no winter in Brazil.

    Have a happy holidays!


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