Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Girl With Many Names

Raylee Bevins was an only child, but she had a large extended family.  Her mother was the second youngest of six kids. Her dad was the second youngest of eight. She had over 30 first cousins. Most of them were older than Raylee but three of them were younger .  Frankie and Erin were her mother's younger brother's kids. Missy was her father's younger brother's daughter.

Raylee adored little kids, and she loved her younger cousins. They were crazy about her too. Unfortunately, they all lived far away in other states. Raylee didn't get to see them that often so when she did, they could never remember her name.

"Kaylee!" Erin shouted from the top of Grandma's steps at one family gathering. "Kaylee! Come and plan with me."

Raylee briefly looked up from the couch where she was sitting scrolling through her phone, but she didn't realize Erin was taking to her so she quickly went back to it.

Erin loudly scrambled down the steps and got right in front of Raylee. "Kaylee! Play with me."she repeated.

"My name is Raylee." Raylee reminded her cousin, but Erin wasn't listening. She was ushering Raylee into the other room to play with her.

Later Raylee played hide and seek with all three of her little cousins. When it was Frankie's turn to be it,  Raylee hid behind the kitchen door. The grownups were all sitting at the kitchen table talking and drinking coffee.  Frankie came running into the room, but he didn't see Raylee. He left the room and quickly found Erin and Missy, but he still couldn't find Raylee. "Where's Maylee?" he asked the grownups finally after spending ten frustrating minutes searching.

"Maylee?" asked Grandma in surprise. "Who is Maylee?" All the other grownups agreed they had no idea who Frankie was talking about.

Frankie sighed and grew even more frustrated. "Maylee!" he repeated throwing his arms around wildly."You know? My cousin, Maylee!"

"Oh." said Grandma. "You mean Raylee!" The other grownups murmured in agreement.

'What's so hard about Raylee' thought Raylee. She didn't know why it was so hard for her little cousins to remember her name.

Later, that night Raylee sat on the couch with Frankie on one side of her and Erin on the other and Missy in her lap as she read them stories. "I love you, Haylee." said Missy snuggling up against her big cousin.

Raylee smiled, and she realized it didn't really matter what they called her. She adored her little cousins, and they loved her too, and that was all that mattered.

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