Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Ivy!

I love birthdays. It's the one day of the year, you get to acknowledge your birth...your entrance into the world. It's awesome and I love celebrating them. I usually go all out for my kids' birthdays too. This year is no exception. What I also love is reflecting back over the last year to see how far they have come. For Miss Ivy, well w-o-w, where do I start? She has grown leaps and bounds this past year. I cannot believe that my "baby" is eight. I think that finally, I can let her go back into the world and let her fly. I think that finally, I can sigh a heavy sigh of relief and know that for the first time in a long, long time, she is going to be alright. The Ivy she was meant to be is emerging and it's a wonderful gift to me as her mother.

While she still has the autism that will always be a part of her, she has made great strides the past year. I have watched her grow emotionally and physically. I have watched her form her first real friendships through school and Brownies and experience the pains of those bonds as well like all little girls do. I have watched her become confidant and mature. She is definitely growing up and without my help for the first time since she was three. On one hand I am sad that she doesn't need me like she used to, but on the other, I couldn't be more happy that she has become so independent and willing to fly on her own!

Friday night, I was fortunate enough to get to spend the evening with Ivy alone, just one on one. We went to dinner at her favorite place, Steak-n-Shake and then I took her shopping to get some birthday loot and blow her birthday money she got in the mail. She got herself dressed in a really pretty sun dress, put on her pink lipstick and her clickity clackety high heeled sandals and off we went. I was thinking to myself how funny it was that she did all this by herself and how cute she looked. I was also thinking how much I would miss her needing me. But then as she always does, she reached and grabbed my hand in hers and said, "come on mom, we're gonna be late!"

I love that she still, at eight, wants to hold my hand wherever we go. Without fail, she reaches out for my hand and settles into it. It's the best feeling in the world for that very moment. What a gift to me she has been in her eight short years. What a gift she has been to all those who have been lucky enough to know her. She is a one of a kind kinda kid without a doubt. I know that for sure. Happy Birthday Ivy!