Well today my little girl turns 16! Hard to believe but it is true. The girl who would run to the door every time I came home from work, or crawl up in my lap to avoid having to go to bed on time is now old enough to drive. The little girl who would smell one of my late night Chinese dinners and come stand by my chair just looking from the plate to my face and back again until I asked, “Rayann, would you like some Chinese food?” is now 16. I could not be prouder of the young woman she is growing into. She still brings joy and a smile into my life every day.
I thought long and hard about what pictures to share…I thought about the one where she turned “double digits” (10) and thought she had arrived and was all that. I considered sharing the one from vacation where she is standing on the balcony with her fingers in the shape of an L on her forehead. I even thought about the last time she went trick or treating, when she dressed up like a witch. Then there is the picture from when we went crabbing and she is holding a crab in her hands…fear, shock, amazement and pride in her face all at one time. In the end I opted not to share any of those memories with you all but rather to let you experience a little piece I call “Rayann Letting Loose”. We were in a diner on the Jersey Shore. Joseph, Rayann and I were there for a week of what we called “The Big Adventure”. Mom got a week off and the three of us enjoyed each others company and made memories that will last a lifetime. So on her 16th birthday I share with you all one of my favorite memories of my little girl. The diner was full, the music was loud and we were sitting with nothing to do but wait for our food…
One of my favorite parts of this video is the “commentary” offered by her big brother as he watches in shame as Rayann has the time of her life.
I pray I can move through life with such joy and carefree abandon. (Yes, I did ask her permission before I posted this…she is a teenage girl after all.)