this stunning young woman is my niece – Tori. this picture was taken last month on the day of her prom. she’s 18 & will be going off to college in a few months. I still can’t quite grasp the fact that she’s 18 or going off to college. seems just yesterday, she was sitting doe-eyed on the floor in her pajamas, eyes glued to the latest Barney episode, only to be interrupted by her nana handing her a snack or two.
she recently graduated from high school, with the added accomplishment of becoming a member of the prestigious National Honor Society, which I’m not yet sure she realizes is a super-duper-major-big-deal. she’s humble, sweet & hard-working, holding down a part-time job and a busy athletic schedule as a softball player praised by her coach in a local newspaper earlier this year… “Victoria is one of the leaders on the team, and we knew she could lead on the field. She worked her butt off (Wednesday). They had runners on third a lot, and it seemed like she blocked a hundred balls. And when our pitchers were kind of losing it a little bit, she called time herself and went out there to settle them down. So she’s definitely got the leadership skills we need out there.”
Tori makes me & the rest of our family very proud. her parents, my sis & brother-in-law have done a great job raising her and our parents have been there every step of the way as well. as a toddler, honestly, she was the happiest baby I’d ever seen. her smile brightened every room and her giggle woke me up many a morning when she’d spend the night.
I regret not having had more one-on-one time with my nieces when they were little. I was 18 when Tori was born & 21 when her little sister came along but I tried to establish my own little traditions with them along the way – when they were younger, I always included books with their Christmas gifts – something age-related with topics varying from bullies to individuality to education. I’ve written them letters on milestone birthdays and I plan to continue as they go along in life, like this milestone moment coming up for Tori.
I still can’t quite believe she’ll be going away to college soon; gives me butterflies when I think about it. so I can only imagine what her parents must be feeling. Tori is mature, responsible and even-keeled but the world is cunning, dangerous and a labyrinth of temptation and bad choices disguised as charming frat boys, frenemies and seemingly innocent fun. I’m worried about that but I pray her road is paved with more positive turns than negative pot holes.
she’s my niece. she’s darling & taller than me. at 18, she has her own unique style & is rarely seen without her pearls. a trademark of hers that I’m truly loving. she’s smart & focused – a true Capricorn to her core. and one day, eventually, I’ll stop seeing her as a tot in a pink onesie with adorable neat afro-puffs & a big happy smile from ear to ear.