The rain stands out in my mind because Laynee, at 2.5 years old and full of energy managed to find every puddle that she could. We were with a large group of people who, undoubtedly, remember the challenges of keeping her out of the mud. We made the rounds through all of our family and friends campers, trying to stay dry, while she wreaked havoc in all of them. I clearly recall that she kept everyone laughing that weekend by simply being who she was.
As I was cleaning the camper this week, I found, hanging from the stereo dial, a forever reminder of that trip and my little girl. Things like this always have the same impact on me. They come, first as a kick in the stomach, snatching the air from my lungs. Then, as the shock wears off, they become a cherished, priceless, treasure. A reminder of the beauty and innocence that once graced our home in human form. This reminder was a beaded necklace that the kids in the group had made for her. Stashed in the cupboard of the camper is a box full of assorted beads and elastic for occasions such as rainy days. I smile as I recall even the boys in the group holed up in the camper making bracelets and necklaces. I suspect that Laynee was unwilling to wear the necklace for long, which explains it's presence on the dial. Nevertheless, it was made for her, she wore it on her neck, against her skin, she touched it with her chubby little fingers, and if my guess is right, she probably threw it across the camper when she tired of it. Upon finding it, I pressed it to my lips, I held it against my face as visions of muddy hands and feet danced through my head. This little circle of elastic and plastic is worth more than gold or silver to me.
I LOVE YOU LAYNEE