I am from cul-de-sac games,
from nighttime tag and doorbell ditching.
I am from midnight snacks,
from girlie slumber parties and t.p.ing houses.
I am from muddy soccer matches, summer swim meets and red and white pom-poms.
I am from the smell of fall pumpkin bread and the sweetness of Lodi’s summer strawberries,
from the excitement of Saturday morning Swedish pancakes
and the rare occasion for Hungarian chicken and dumplings.
I am from required family dinners,
from painful weekend chores and special bedtime stories.
I am from long car trips, a packed blue van and classic oldies on the radio.
I am from attending Sunday school,
from reciting memory verses and caravanning to Christian summer camp.
I am from bowed heads in prayer,
from uplifted hands and closed eyes in worship.
I am from the 5th pew to the right,
from Easter Sunday dresses and mission trips to Mexico.
I am from “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
I am from the fear of wooden spoons,
from the annoyance of being grounded and the frustration of a midnight curfew.
I am from “Mean not to,”
from “Did you pray about it?” and “I’m proud of you.”
I am from truth, hard work and love.
I am from la tierra de lagos y volcanes,
from Vive Sandino! and Ay Nicaragua, Nicaraguita!
I am from tears of sorrow and tears of joy,
from homesickness and growing pains.
I am from mosquito bites and fresco in a bag,
from the sound of rain on a tin roof and trips to the laguna.
I am from “Adios profe!,”
from “Regalame tus ojos.” and “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”
I am from a home filled with laughter,
from people who support me and a God who sustains me.