My friend Elizabeth describes herself as her daughter’s sherpa. For those of you not familiar with mountaineering, sherpas are local experts who hire themselves out to wealthy tourists to help with climbing the summit. The sherpas follow along behind the mountaineers, carrying tents, sleeping bags, emergency medical supplies, food for the evening meal, etc.
Elizabeth follows along behind her daughter Emilie, carrying school backpacks, extra shoes, snacks, emergency medical supplies and often food for the evening meal.
I, too, am the sherpa in my daughter’s life. Rada and I recently came back from a plane visit to my mother, and I experienced new meaning to the words ‘one carry-on bag per person’. As my daughter ran up ahead clambering off the plane, I followed behind with my carry-on, my personal bag, her carry-on, her personal bag, and two stuffed animals.
There is some poetic irony, however, to this. While visiting my mother, I went on a very productive shopping spree, and acquired way too many purchases to bring home with me on the plane. My mother graciously agreed to bring them back for me in her bags later this month.