Yesterday, August 3, 2018, at precisely 7:45am, Miss Elliott Michelle Stevens made her grand entrance into the world. Elliott, who will likely be nicknamed El or Elli, is the daughter and first child of my nephew, Garrett Stevens and his lovely wife, Kayla Smiley Stevens. Elliott is the first grandchild on both sides of their families, and so will be “spoiled” by grandmothers, Alena Stevens and Lynnette Smiley, as well as grandfathers, Mike Stevens and Wes Smiley. She also has three aunts, Michelle Stevens, Lacey Stevens, and Lexi Smiley, who all became aunts the moment Elliot arrived. Elliot has changed a lot of lives, and all she did was to be born. It was a big job, but Elliott was up to the task.

Elliott is a pretty little girl, who likes to suck her thumb a little. Time will tell if that becomes a habit. She is a good baby, who doesn’t seem to cry much. She will find her voice, I’m sure, but for now, she is just relaxing and enjoying her new world and all the loving grandparents and great grandmother she has found there. Little does she know that there are many other family members who are waiting excitedly to meet her too. She has been born into a much larger family than she could possibly imagine, but those meetings will come in time. For now, she is just enjoying a few family members, and especially her parents, who are still marveling at the little blessing they have been given. And while Kayla and Garrett have become something their siblings are not…parents, their siblings have also become something they are not…aunts.

Time will tell who little Elliott will look like, and we all see similarities between her and her family members, but she will change quite a lot over the next few months and more similarities will begin to show. We will see an expression here, a facial shape there, and hair color will also begin to tell the tale. As she finds her voice, we might discover that she laughs like one person, or her voice sounds like another…it might even be an aunt or grandmother…or even a great aunt or uncle. Babies are amazing that way. They are created by God from the traits He ordains in their family DNA to be the perfect little person, unique and yet similar. I can’t wait to see who little Elliott Michelle will resemble as she grows. No matter who it is, she will be beautiful, just as she is right now, because she comes from two beautiful parents. Welcome to the world, Elliott Michelle, and to our family. We love you so much already!!

Most babies have a tendency to grab anything that gets near them, especially long hair. My grandson, Caalab was not an exception in that, except for the fact that he never pulled. From the time he was 6 months old, he has played with my hair in one wary or another. Not every woman likes having her hair touched or played with, but I do, as do most of my family members. To me, it is very relaxing, and I could let him do it all day. I have fared well in that too, since his mom, my daughter Amy is pretty tender headed, and  his sister, my granddaughter, Shai doesn’t like it at all, so Caalab had to wait for his grandma. How blessed was I on that one?

As I said, Caalab started playing with my hair when he was about 6 months old, and he never pulled on it. I have never seen a baby be so gentle with hair in my life. He gently ran a few strands between two of his little fingers from top to bottom. I guess he liked the way the hair felt as it ran between his fingers…just like his grandma does. To this day I play with my own hair, unless I can get someone to do it for me.

As the years have gone by, the way Caalab has played with my hair has changed. He is a very creative boy. He has brushed, twirled, flipped, and slapped my long hair, as anyone who knows him can attest, but he is very gentle. My Dad used to get a kick out of him at church, because when we stood up to sing, Caalab would climb up on the chair and start to play with my hair. I suppose some people might think he shouldn’t be doing that in church, but he was very well behaved in church, and all the church members knew what he was doing, and they always had to smile about it. The way I saw it, he wasn’t running around getting in trouble, and he wasn’t crying. It was a win-win situation.

It is my guess that Caalab will always like to play with someone’s hair. I feel very blessed to have been on the receiving end of so many relaxing hours while he played with mine, and as for his girlfriends, and his future wife…they will need to like to wear their hair long, and love having it played with. And take it from someone who knows, you will be blessed for years by this habit Caalab has. And if you get tired of it…send him to his grandma’s house, because I’ll be happy to let his play with my hair.

There are a lot of people today that have an irritable habit. Now I know that you are probably thinking that you could name a few very irritating habits, but I’m talking about an Irritable Habit, meaning that something irritates them, and they are irritated the rest of the day. I have the definite ability to fall into that category, if I’m not careful, and I’m sure you do too. Something makes us mad early in the day, and while it didn’t even begin to be something that should have affected the rest of our day, we couldn’t get it off of our mind.

Sometimes, we allow those little irritations to define who we are. In fact, it can feel like being possessed. This is because we have allowed ourselves to dwell on things that haven’t gone our way. Sometimes, we even think that people do thing to irritate us on purpose. We get to where we can’t seem to say a nice thing to anyone. Our attitude becomes sarcastic and mean. Before we know it, anything and everything makes us mad. You see, irritation can become a habit. After a while we don’t even remember how it all got started.

If we can begin to understand that everybody deserves a little understanding, and that they probably didn’t mean to irritate us in the first place, we might learn to forgive and move on to happiness. I had someone tell me the other day that a person I know to be very blessed, is always irritated. How sad is that? This person has so much going for them, and yet the people who mean the most to them are under the impression that they aren’t happy. Now that…is truly sad.

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