Encourage Every Girl To Be Herself Completely - Celebrate the Unicorn
Last year for my birthday, I had two unexpected visitors, Tan and Dyns.
By JEANNIE SHAW
Two Unexpected Visitors
Last year for my birthday, I had two unexpected visitors, Tan and Dyns.
I met Tanecia when she was ten years old. At the time, I was dating her brother. While the whole family was super kind to me, especially their mom, Tan and I formed a sweet bond that has held for almost three decades.
When she was about 15, our friendship started to shift. Our conversations were evolving. The little girl I once felt like I was looking after was becoming my friend – someone I could confide in and vice versa. Within this time, I’d gone away to study but would return home for holidays. Neither time nor distance separated us. We would always just pick up right where we left off. When my mom passed, Tan’s mom was one of the women who provided a safe space for me to fall apart or just rest silently on the couch if I needed to.
So much more transpired even after that time. I had a son, got married, got divorced and still, they were there… and then Tan had a baby of her own. Most new moms wonder if they can handle their new position. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed when I got a call from her. She was so nervous about her new role and all the responsibilities that came with it. I just listened. Most of the time that’s what people want anyway – just a soundboard.
“Our conversations were evolving. The little girl I once felt like I was looking after was becoming my friend – someone I could confide in. “
It’s Gonna Be OK, I Promise
By this time, she was in New York and I was in Belize. As I stared aimlessly, just hearing her out, I could relate to just about every feeling she was having and I was confident that these moments would pass. When my son was born, I remember looking over at him in the hospital room as he lay in his basinet. It was all so new and somewhat intimidating. I was responsible for a whole person. What in the world!
When I saw the nurses give him his first bath, I stood across the hallway and felt extremely overwhelmed. What am I gonna do with this baby! How will I handle it? And trust me, I was one of those moms who WANTED a baby. I have practically documented my son’s whole life but in those first few hours, I was mostly staring at him like “OK. So we really gonna do this, huh?”
So I understood where Tan was coming from. Additionally, just one month before Lundyn’s arrival, Tan and I had both lost someone very dear to us. Her name was Kareemah. She was Tan’s long time friend and the mother of my niece. Kareemah was like a sister to both of us. It was such a hard time for everyone.
Imagine how that loss added to rampant emotions fuelled by hCG (pregnancy hormones).
I listened, comforted and empathized. “I hear you babes… it’s gonna be ok, I promise. I can’t wait to meet her.”, I affirmed. Well that meeting took almost eight years to happen and when it did, I was mesmerized.
“Additionally, just one month before Lundyn’s arrival, Tan and I had both lost someone very dear to us. Her name was Kareemah.“
What do you have planned for your bday weekend? Maybe I can come and turn up with you if yo serious.”, Tan DM’d me.
And the rest is history.
Before I knew it, I was on my way to the airport to pick her up and finally get to meet her daughter, Lundyn Paige. The name alone should tell you that you’re about to meet someone extra special. They’d had a long flight from New York to California so it took a little bit of calibrating to feel adjusted on LA grounds. It was only going to be for a couple days and we had much to do, starting with my birthday celebration that same night.
I spent the next two days completely immersed in beautiful moments with Lundyn (Dyns). By the next day, we were calling each other BFF… Best Friends Forever. If she wasn’t calling me BFF, it was gyal or fren (friend).
We were coordinating our clothes, talking about how to deal with our hair and I was briefly told that one of my outfits made me look pregnant. Well, no need to tell me twice. I swiftly changed that look. Once I got her approval, we were out the door and on to the next adventure.
“By the next day, we were calling each other BFFs… Best Friends Forever. If she wasn’t calling me BFF, it was gyal or fren (friend).”
Here’s the thing about Dyns. There’s no pretence whatsoever. Sure, as a child, she’s still working on her delivery and is open each time I’d point out anything to her. I kept standing in awe of this seven year old Belizean New Yorker. She is unafraid, unintimidated and stands firmly in her spark. She never dulls her shine. Her mind is as brilliant as the sky on a perfect spring day. Dyns had me whirling around from one activity to the next, one dramatic gesture to the next… it was never ending. I was between laughing and shouting to get her to wait on us in crowded LA gatherings.
Any and everything is fun with Lundyn. We walked a nearby mall, went to The Grove in LA and had quiet moments on the couch. All of it was fun. She’s got that kind of spirit and personality that makes even simple moments golden.
As we went through the Musuem of Illusions in Hollywood, I could hardly keep my bodily functions to work properly. I damn near pee’d myself at least ten times hanging out with Lundyn. The bursts of laughter were abundant and much appreciated. She felt like a flutter of butterflies tugging at every happy string in my body. Dyns was up to trying anything and making the most blatant observations and commentaries.
When we got to Santa Monica pier, I could hardly keep up. And as she pulled at my hand and looked back at me, I was amazed.
This seven year old girl knows more about enjoying life than most people I know today. I wondered, “Are we all this vibrant and full of spark til ‘life happens’. Til someone tells us to dim our light or quiet down?”
“I damn near pee’d myself at least ten times hanging out with Lundyn. The bursts of laughter were abundant and much appreciated. “
Dyns Is Living Her Best Life. Period.
Her confidence preceded her. She went on rides by herself. She is not afraid to speak out if she isn’t interested in something. Dyns is unapologetic for honoring what feels right to her. As she got on her final ride, Tan and I waited for each moment that she sped past us just to see the look on her face. Each spin produced a different look and with each fleeting moment, we both just kept laughing. Dyns is living her best life. Period.
She got me to do my first and only TikTok so far. I enjoyed her company so much that I forgot Tanecia was around at times. It’s like we entered our own little world and I was enjoying all the whirl wind twirls that came with it. We fit as much as we could into the couple days we had. She was a breath of fresh air and a reminder to always come back to the things that make me feel alive. Lundyn Paige is the epitome of Nourish Me Sweetly.
She bought us all BFF necklaces and reminded me several times to send her a painting. I was inspired by her zest for life and every new moment it provided to her. I painted a picture frame, put one of our pics in it and created a unicorn puzzle then mailed it out a few weeks ago.
It should have said:
To Lundyn Paige, A Unicorn.
Dyns loves the unicorn and I love her.
The unicorn is a mythical creature, symbolic of magic and miracles. Appearing only to a chosen few, the unicorn has the ability to share magic, miracles and wisdom to those who are pure of heart and who’s actions follow that purity. Lundyn is a unicorn. She’s extremely special, enlightening and is a beautiful reminder to me to be true to myself, to shine my own bright light and to remember who I am.
If you have a daughter, a niece or any little girl that you have direct influence on, I encourage you to remind her to let her light shine… to be all that she is. Tell her that she’s beautiful all the time… nurture her gifts and talents and help her to find her truth in every moment of her journey. And not just to find her truth, but to honor it. Let her choose her funky outfits, speak her mind (kindly) and be all that she is.
And, I encourage you to do the same for yourself. If you think back on your life and feel like somewhere along your journey, you were constantly told to be any less than what you are, take a few deep breaths right now. Make a new choice. Close your eyes and reconnect with your vibrance and align with your truth and speak it when necessary. Find your inner unicorn and embrace it. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to look within and remind myself that I too am a Unicorn.
Cheers to you Lundyn Paige, Unicorn.
“Tell her that she’s beautiful all the time… nurture her gifts and talents and help her to find her truth at all times. And not just to find her truth but to honor it. “
And, if you don’t like to read too much or also want to hear/see the Audio/YouTube version, just click the link above.