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Treasuring every moment

The changing of the seasons often brings about change in our daily lives. As the leaves turn their shades of orange, yellow and brown, our lives bring the color of maturity closer to the surface. For each leaf that drops, its life is brought to an end. For every leaf fallen, another must take its place.

My family, like most, has seen many changes over the past few years. We have said "good-bye" to a few and "hello" to a good many others. Each year brings about something we could have never predicted. We have welcomed several new additions to our ever-growing family, but we have lost several dear friends.

When I was a child, I couldn't comprehend the notion that one day, I would become my mother. I would have the responsibility of a family, a job. I would have to step in the shoes of a role I could imagine I would have to fill. People, other than myself, would depend solely on me for things that I may or may not be able to do for them.

When I think of my daughter trying to fill those same shoes for her family, I get worried. Not because I think she might fail, but because it would mean she has grown up. It would mean that she doesn't need me anymore. She would no longer depend on me to see she has something to eat, something to wear.

Mothers have a hard time letting go of their children, boys and girls alike. Just the other day, my husband accused me of holding too tightly to our daughter. Granted, she didn't want to leave my side during the whole day, but how do you let them venture into the world without your protection? I know we can arm our children with the courage to face life's daily challenges. We can give them knowledge they need to be successful. We can disperse the wisdom we have gained during our time here.

To the new mothers in my family, I have this to offer.

Take each smile, each laugh, each new word, and tuck into the corner of your heart and mind. Dream for them all that they make accomplish, and remind them daily that they can achieve it. Build their confidence and expand their mind. We must do this now, because one day, they will take all that you have taught them and teach it to their children.

To our family, I would like to welcome my niece, Miss Kaiden Mishae LeMaire. Kaiden is the daughter of Michael LeMaire and Shawna Ham of Florala. She was born on June 25, 2002 at the North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview, Fla. She weighed seven pounds and two ounces.

She is the maternal granddaughter of Jeff Ham of Paxton, Fla. She is the paternal granddaughter of Roger and Dianne (LeMaire Prescott and the late Harris "Tiger" LeMaire, all of Florala.

Her maternal grandmother is Geraldine (Gerry) Walker of Andalusia. Her paternal great-grandparents are Neat Thompson of Florala and Harris LeMaire, Sr. of Irwinville, Ga.