My Dearest Red,
Lordy, lordy but today you are 14! Fourteen. Four plus ten. Obviously I am somewhat flummoxed by this fact. Truly, it seems as recently as yesterday I was enduring the end of my pregnancy with you, trying to keep what little sanity I had, and getting ready to have a baby girl. It feels nearly impossible all this time has flown by and now you are taller than me. In fact you are many things -er than me: smarter, cleverer, patienter, slyer, prettier....I know not all of those are real words, but they are all true.
I know lately things have been challenging for you. Eighth grade is not the kindest of years and the children not always at their top form. You , being tall, willowy thin and graced with deep red hair, strong brown eyes and freckles don't look like most of the girls your age. I get it that at this age those attributes might not seem as such, but one day in the not too distant future you are going to wake up and be the most beautiful of swans the earth has witnessed in recent history. For me you always have been that swan, for you to see her it might take some time. My hope for you is that you understand this and can ride out these years where sometimes boys are mean and have nothing better to offer than their observations of your unusual hair color. And sometimes girls are mean just to be mean. But it will pass, I promise you.
This has been a challenging year for our family. Your father's stroke was such a shock. Then having him be gone for the last four months in Utah has been a strain. I know the drama of your older brother getting through his last year of high school is sometimes draining. Then there is day to day life with your little brother. Not to mention the fact that you were really quite ill most of the winter. Yet you have sucked up your guts and plundered on, getting stellar grades, kicking some serious butt on the soccer field and maintaining your amazing sense of humor.
Cass, you are my only girl, the sandwich child in between two needy boys. You're my self-sufficient one and so I sometimes over look your needs in order to put out fires with your brothers. I do this because I know you're taking care of business, it's not fair to you but sometimes that's just how it works. I'm sorry. I'll try to be more focused.
I love the times we share together, especially when it's just the two of us. Your sly observations never cease to crack me up, you are so much like your father this way. Your verbal combat abilities are also stunning, never is there a dull moment with you.
Red Sister, I love the child you were, the young lady you are evolving into and the woman I can see one day becoming. You are and will continue to be strong, smart, kind, gracious, funny, humble and absolutely beautiful inside and out. I can't wait to see it all unfold for you.
I think I can speak for your father here when I say we are so blessed to have you in our lives. You are Briar Rose, Red Sister, Cassula, Fifi. You are my Cassidy Jane and truly the most divine creature I have ever met. Happy birthday, my love. Go forth and kick ass today just as you have done every single other day of your life, it is your destiny.
I love you ~Mom