My little Cassidy turned nine last month. Despite all the celebrations, I haven't posted about it because I really didn't want to think about it. I mean, we didn't ignore the birthday... oh, no! We had a family party, and she awoke to a room filled by the balloon fairy, and enjoyed having 13 of her closest friends at the barn for a riding party the following Saturday. Mama doesn't ever miss an excuse for a party!
I happily celebrated with her, but as far as dwelling on her age, I have been in denial! Cassidy is my baby, my little angel, and the thought that this is her last birthday in the single digits tears at my heart. With every year, I have to accept the reality that I am working myself out of a job, and 9 is halfway to college, to this mommy's way of thinking. But time marches on, and I have slowly accepted this milestone birthday (ok, work with me here, they are honestly ALL milestones to me- I have issues, I know!) and want to record some of my thoughts about our little Cassidoodle.
Rather than ramble on, worrying about sentence structure (ahem), I want to list some of my favorite things and memories about this girl... this child who has grown so much this past year. Wow. Being 8 was big.
1. My first memory of her is of the midwife handing this writhing, screeching little bundle of energy into my arms, and holding her tight, trying to believe that this little girl is mine. She was like a coiled bundle of muscles and energy, and reached for me with the longest, most beautiful hands. I will never forget that moment- staring into the bluest eyes, which held the most serious and inquisitive expression as she stared me down. She owned me at that moment, and I knew she would be a force to be reckoned with.
2. As I would rock her for bedtime she would throw that little head back, and with her gummy little smile would giggle and taunt me, until I, too was luaghing. This would make her laugh even harder, and I couldn't resist kissing her under her chin, wiling to do anything to hear that captivating and magical laughter that bubbled forth from her. She kept her eyes locked on mine, and it felt as if she could see straight into my soul. Oh, how I loved those moments!
3. My strong willed little girl, battling it out with me over naptime or quiet time. Ohmy. That's all there is to say about that. I'm thankful we survived that era relatively scar free, and hope flashbacks won't send her into therapy at an early age.
4. My little blond pixie dust, as she shyly tries to hide a smile, holds her tongue in her cheek and peeks under those lashes with a sidelong glance to see ifyou notice. Usually her good humour gets the best of her and her face lights up like sunshine, with the smile she can no longer hide. Her smiles are truly a burst of joy straight from the hand of God, as she conquers her fear and allows her joy to shine forth.
5.I am so proud of this little thing, who has faced so much at such a young age. She developed severe eczema (and allergies) at 8 months of age, and until she was seven would awaken most days with her legs and sheets covered in blood, from the incessant scratching in the night. She endured painful ointments several times daily, and took 3-4 oral medications twice a day. She endured questions and stares from strangers as they noticed her precious tender skin, marked with painful wounds and scars. For a shy child it was literally torturous. She couldn't look people on the eye, couldn't even lift her eyes from the ground. But praise God, trusting God for her healing, we prayed and refused to give into the fear and frustration that threatened, many times, to overwhelm us. She has been off medication and symptom free for 2 years.
6. Cassidy has the best sense of humour of anyone I have ever known. She is funny without even trying to be. She has a dry wit, and sees humour in things beyond her age. I call Nana at least once, daily, to report the "Cassidy-ism" of the day. Now when we laugh she sighs, "Are you calling Nana?!"
7. Cassidy loves passionately and feels deeply. Her hugs are rarer than I would like, and when given are a cherished gift... they aren't given lightly. When she opens herself up to you, she gives all of herself, and loves with everything in her. It is worth the wait to receive her love!
8. I love the notes Little Bit (I called her a little bit of nothin' when she was born because she was so tiny!) leaves on my pillow at the end of the day. Notes telling me she is sorry for misbehaviors, or asking for a special time with me the next day, sometimes tied to a packet of candy from her halloween stash. Oh, I treasure those notes!
9. Cassidoodle has always been such an indepndent child and can occupy herself for hours on end. When home with me while I was working, she would sit and play at the dollhouses in my office endlessly, occassionally stopping by for a snuggle. When she would tire of that she would get out her paper, scissors, tape and staples and create purses and countless other designs. Her diligence and creativity combine to bless her with many gifts.
10. Cassidoodle, I love you! Seeing you grow into the person you were meant to be is a joy, and a gift I am so grateful to God for bestowing on me. Thanks for being my girl!