It’s funny how the most unrelated remark can take you back in time by years in a matter of seconds. Last night at bowling, we were getting ready to leave, and there was a couple with a little baby, who was very unhappy. Upon hearing the crying, my daughter, Amy said, “That is one unhappy baby!” At that moment, I was transported back 18 years in an instant…back to when my granddaughter, Shai Royce was a little baby. Amy bowled on a league with Bob and me at that time, and our little Miss Shai really didn’t understand why her mom and grandma sometimes had to hand her off to someone else while we bowled.
I will never forget the crying. She acted like it was the worst trauma in the world. While we were only away from her for a couple of minutes, and she could clearly see us while we bowled, it was not enough. Shai, being our only granddaughter and clearly a bit of a drama queen for most of her life, liked things to go her way, and her way only. It’s funny really, because when she was at home or at my house, she did not require constant holding, just at the bowling alley. I guess we should have played peek-a-boo with her a little bit more often.
There were other times that Shai became clearly unhappy too, but as I think back now, they often occurred in situations where there were a lot of people, and she didn’t know them very well. I guess she was one of those babies who had a real stranger danger instinct going on. Or maybe she just loved her mommy, daddy, and grandparents a lot, so she didn’t want them to be very far away from her. This is not so uncommon in babies to go through times in their first or even their second year, where they only want to be with their parents and grandparents. It’s just a personal preference.
When Shai was sitting on my lap or Amy’s lap at bowling, she was a very happy and content little girl, and she had a smile that could just melt your heart. Her whole face lit up with delight when she smiled. She was just such a joy when she was happy, but when she was unhappy about something, or downright sad, look out, because everyone in the room was going to know about it. Shai was one of those babies who had the ability to screech in anger, and she did not care who heard it…in fact, the more people who knew it, the better she felt. I think she thought that the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the oil, and she decided that she liked that idea.
Our little Miss Shai is not nearly the drama queen she used to be in those days. As she has grown up, and especially in the last few years, she has turned into a strong, capable, responsible young lady, and I am very proud of her. She enjoys a self confidence that many girls her age just don’t have, and she is not afraid of anything. I know that she will do well in whatever she sets her mind to. With her background of making her wants and needs known, she will always come out on top…even if taking her to the bowling alley was a bit of a trial in those days gone by.
My dear granddaughter, Shai, it seems like just yesterday that we were so excited about having a Leap Day Baby. Little did we know then, that our little Leap Day Girl would also be our only granddaughter. Time has flown by so quickly, and I can’t believe that at 4½ years of age, you are going to be graduating from high school. Like most kids, it seems like just yesterday that you were born, but while time has indeed flown by, you have managed to age much slower than most kids…not a bad thing for a girl, because as we all know, women want to fight age with everything they have.
All kidding aside, we are so proud of all you have accomplished. You have reached a milestone today…one that will change you forever. High school graduation is the real completion of your childhood. You are no longer a little girl, but rather a woman he has earned the right to make her own decisions and plans, and set her own goals. I can’t believe that this day is really here. You really should be just a little teeny girl…a real 4 year old, and yet here you are…a grown woman. You talked with me about your plans, and when I listen to you, I hear a wise woman. You may not know exactly where you want your life to go, but you know where you don’t want it to go, and sometimes that is as wise as knowing the destination. Your journey will take you step by step toward the woman you want to be, and as long as you let God lead you, you will have great success.
Though your plans are keeping you close to home right now, I still feel a loneliness in my heart, because in my memory files, I can still see the little girl you were, and I miss her. You had a way of ruling the roost when it came to your brother and your cousins, Chris and Josh…when you were little anyway. They have become much more your allies now…and your friends, not just your brother and cousins. I remember the times…not so long ago, when we painted your tiny little fingernails, and you felt so grown up, then you told me that mine were “a meth and I better fixth them” if they were chipped. You were a born shopper. As a little girl, you could not see the problem with that. You told your mom to “just sharge it!!” That was a statement that always brought us a laugh. You were the type of little girl who simply never saw the problem with things. In your mind there was always a clear solution…except when other people didn’t agree with your solution. Then, oh my gosh…we met the Drama Queen.
Now, suddenly…right before our eyes, the Drama Queen is drifting away. We almost never see her anymore, and in her place stands a beautiful woman, who is ready to take on the world with style and grace. You have such new found confidence, and with your take charge personality, I know that you will be successful at whatever you do. I want all your dreams to come true, but for the selfish part of me, I hope that your dreams won’t take you far away, because I would miss my girl terribly. We are so proud of the woman you have become. Words can’t fully express just how proud. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation my dear granddaughter, Shai!! Way to go!!
The newest member of our family has finally arrived. My nephew Eric, and his wife, Ashley gave birth to Reagan Kaylynn Parmely today, October 24, 2012, at 9:49 am. She weighed 7 pounds 10.5 ounces, and she was 21 inches long. She has dark brown hair that is about an inch long. She tried really hard to arrive on her mommy’s birthday, yesterday, but that was not to be. She missed it by a few hours. That is a fact that I’m sure her parents will forgive her for. They are just thrilled that she is here now.
When Eric and Ashley started planning a family, Eric told her that he wanted daughters. You see, his was a family of three brothers, of which Eric was the youngest. His family had always hoped for a girl, but it was not to be. Eric had always hoped things would be different for him, and so when Ashley became pregnant, they waited anxiously to see if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Finally the day of the ultrasound arrived, and it was discovered that Eric would get his wish. Their child would be a girl. Eric was floating on air.
Ashley said she wanted a boy first, but like most mothers, that doesn’t matter once that precious little one is snuggling up in her arms. Little miss Reagan Kaylynn will fill her heart with so much joy that she will wonder why she ever wanted a boy first, and when the next baby comes along, Reagan will be the best little mommy’s helper ever. Little girls are like that…mommies from the start.
As the years go forward, Ashley will have someone to go do all the girlie things that Eric won’t be very interested in doing. Yes, in the teenage years, they will disagree over probably everything, and Reagan will most likely be a drama queen at times, but those years will quickly pass, because children grow up in just a minute, when you consider how quickly time passes. Before they know it, she will be dating, driving, graduating, marrying, and having babies of her own. Does that seem like an exaggeration, take it from someone whose daughters did just that, just a few weeks ago, or was it really 37 years ago since my first daughter was born. Enjoy this wonderful time Eric and Ashley. It goes by so fast, but watching little miss Reagan Kaylynn grow up will be the most wonderful experience of your life! We are all so happy for you!!
Some girls are tomboys, some girls are drama queens, and some are simply princesses. Raelynn definitely falls into the princess category. Raelynn is a petite little girl, who loves to dress up in the prettiest outfit she can find. And it doesn’t matter to her if she is going for a ride on a four wheeler, a picnic on the mountain, or to church…her choice of clothing might very well be the same, because the prettier and more girly the outfit, the more this little princess likes it.
As for cousins her age…Raelynn is pretty much surrounded by boys, except for her little sister, who has been a bit of a tomboy, but who seems to be changing that a little. Being surrounded by boys puts a girly girl in an odd position. She can’t quite figure out some of the humor that boys possess, in fact, a lot of it can make her quite annoyed. And for Raelynn, this is especially tough, because the three boy cousins that are near her age, and her own brother, are…well, all boy, and they don’t care if their play offends her in any way. They are simply having a good time, and she will just have to deal with that. Nevertheless, those same boys think a lot of their girly girl cousin and sister.
Like most little girls, Raelynn is a Daddy’s girl. Most of the pictures where she and her dad are both in the shot, you will find that she is right beside her daddy. Being a Daddy’s Girl is not such an unusual thing. I find that there are many of us. I was a Daddy’s Girl myself, and so I can relate to just how Raelynn feels about her daddy. Dads just seem to understand those girly girls. Maybe it is because dads are simply taken with their little princesses. From the moment they see that sweet little face, they know that the rest of their lives will be spent wrapped around her little finger. She is their girl, and they think that is just fine. Today is Raelynn’s birthday!! Happy birthday Raelynn!! We love you!!
I grew up in an age when people spanked their kids. In fact, I can’t think of one friend who never had a spanking. And my mother could discipline with the best of them. I just don’t think she liked it much. Oh, she could get in there and scream as well as anyone, and she wasn’t a push-over by any stretch of the imagination. But, in reality, I don’t think that she really liked all the screaming and arguing that went on in a house full of girls. You see, my dad was the only man, or boy in the house for all of our young years. Counting mom, it was 6 to 1.
Raising 5 girls with all of the emotions that can go on with 5 drama queens, I can’t help but wonder how she managed to keep her sanity. Part of her way was to tell us, “Just wait until your dad gets home!!” And it was a threat that would bring fear to our hearts, although I don’t exactly know why. My dad had a way of working out a situation without the need for a spanking, much of the time. Mom’s big threat was all the trouble we were going to be in when dad got home, and believe me, if you deserved it, you got it…big time, but if it could be worked out without a spanking, dad could do it. He really didn’t spank us much, we just knew that if he did…boy were we going to wish he hadn’t had to.
Mom’s way, on the other hand…whenever possible anyway, was to spread the sunshine and smiles. I remember that even if we had all been screaming and fighting, when all was said and done, Mom would sing some song like, “Let a smile be your umbrella, on a rainy, rainy day.” Or she might sing, “Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life.” Anything to stop the fighting and hopefully put a little cheer back into the house. Mom always hated the fighting that could go on in a house full of girls with very different points of view…and believe me, we could go at it. So much so that sometimes Mom would just decide that if fighting was what we wanted to do, we were going to do it!! Have you ever tried to fight on demand? It has a way of making you feel really ridiculous. At some point, you give up and end up laughing about the whole thing. I guess she was a pretty wise woman.
Mom always wanted her kids to be happy. She wanted our lives to be…just a little bit like living in Perfect. And while she knew that there was no real place like Perfect, she knew that her words and songs could add a little sunshine to our lives, so that has always been her goal. To this day, whenever we seem down in the dumps, or life is filled with stress, we can count on Mom to tell us, “Keep on the sunny side!!” That is just how she is. it’s who she is…the Keeper of the Sunshine!!