One of my favorite memories of my Ayanna is one that really should have no big significance. It wasn’t a major life event or any milestone reached. It was a simple moment that I have stored away, and that memory I have loved.
I don’t think she was any more than about three years old. She had spent the afternoon with her aunt and her cousins and they had stopped by my work for a reason I can no longer remember. I went to the parking lot to greet them and Ayanna stood with one hand holding her aunts hand, the other holding a small Blenders smoothie. She stood sipping for a few moments until it was time for them to go. As they walked away to leave, Ayanna continued drinking her smoothie, and for a small child this can really take a lot of concentration and effort. So to guide her along, her aunt gently pulled her in the direction of which they were going. Her little legs fumbled behind her but she paid no attention to that really. Her smoothie must have been quit delicious! Then I really saw her. Dressed in a little girls pink summer dress, her hair in a child sized pony tail, these big beautiful lips, and bright pink cheeks against the milky white of her skin. She was perfect. I remember in that moment being immensely grateful that she was healthy and happy and loved.
How much I love that little girl will never change. I realize today as she transitions from child to teenager that no matter how big she gets, I will always see her as the little girl with the rosy cheeks in the pink summer outfit. She still needs guidance but she doesn’t need her hand to be held any longer. Although, I hope she will trust me enough to take mine when she needs it.