It Still takes a Village to Raise a Child – Riana Milne, LMHC, CAP, Cert Life & Relationship Coach
Last weekend I had the honor of Officiating the marriage of my nephew, Ryan Luurtsema to his lovely bride, Erin Mullee. As I was about to escort the groom in, I thought to myself what a wonderful man he had become. He is a polite, hard working, military man. As I was thinking how grown up he was, he turned and said to me, “Aunt Ri, I’m so glad it is you escorting me to be married, and doing our ceremony. I Love you so much!” As we started walking arm in arm towards the outdoor gazebo, my eyes flooded with tears as I thought how wonderful it felt to be his Aunt, helping to make his marriage a special one, and how grateful I felt that in some way, I made a significant difference in his life.
His brother, Flynn stayed with me for the week, and I saw him in a whole different light as well. He had grown to be so confident, mature, and strong, and also serves in the Army. Together my nephews hung out at my house, remarking how “Zen like” it felt, and how special it was to spend calm, quality time with me throughout the week.
My third nephew, CJ, from California, asked me at the rehearsal dinner if I would teach him to dance so that he could join all of us out on the dance floor. I had him dancing and looking great within an hour. He was so confident at the reception, that he was able to ask several of the pretty bridesmaids to dance with him.
JT, my fourth nephew, who always called me his “favorite Aunt” followed my footsteps by attending Penn State University, and insists I join him at a football game this fall and to meet his friends. He boasted, “Aunt Ri, our picture taken together got 42 likes in one hour on Facebook!” as we glanced at our shot together in his dashing tux, and my navy cocktail dress and matching heels. JT’s brother Troy, just twelve but confident beyond his years because he loves spending time with us adults, is always keeping up with all of us in conversation and on the dance floor doing the coolest dance moves!
Being blessed with two amazing daughters, these boys are like the sons I never had, and each, in their own, unique way, found their way to bond to my heart in such a fun, memorable and special way. My niece Shane, stood by her brother Ryan’s side, also in a tux, is beautiful, strong and distinguished, after serving three, brave tours herself in Afghanistan. As I left the wedding I reflected on how these children grew up to be amazing adults, and how proud I was of each one of them. It reminded me also, of my daughter’s closeness to their Grandmother and Aunt Pam, who were excellent home-makers and taught my girls many of these skills because I was a busy working mother, obligated to many hours at my Talent school and agency.
I look back on my life and realize there was nothing more important than that of raising my daughters to be incredible, loving, happy and successful young woman. However, I see the qualities and traits of many family members who loved and helped them to become who they are. It takes many in a community to raise a child, in a positive or negative way. Ask yourselves, how can you influence a child’s life today? Teachers, Coaches, Mentors, Aunts, Uncles, neighbors, family friends and Grandparents – our children need you more than ever! Know that this is one of the most important, and rewarding jobs you will ever have.
Riana Mine, MA, is a Certified, world-wide Relationship, Love & Life Coach, #1 Best Selling Author, motivational speaker, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cert Addictions Professional at Therapy by the Sea; 15300 Jog Rd, Suite 109, Delray Beach. Her free App: My Relationship Coach offers more articles and her books, LIVE Beyond Your Dreams – from Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose and Success, and LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve addresses relationships with yourself and others. To learn more about Riana’s Life or Love Coaching programs or suggest a topic, go to Riana’s website, www.RianaMilne.com or email RianaMilne@gmail.com. Worldwide Coaching Phone: (201) 281-7887. Delray office: (561) 701-8277; Skype Coaching and FB: coachrianamilne. #LoveCoach, #LifeCoach, #RelationshipCoach, #SinglesCoach