A for Independent

 It seems like not that long ago, we were staring down at our granddaughter’s face.  We were mesmerized by her delicate features, from her tiny toes, to her little ears all newborns have.  I could not help notice her high cheekbones though, so many in our family have those.

Like all Grandmas I was investigating closely to see if I can distinguish who she looked
more like, my daughter-in-law or my son. I determined quickly, neither!   Actually I saw signs of both and realized, like most of us do, in time it will become more evident.  And honestly, who cares as long as our grand-babies are healthy.

As little Ava grew, she became a carbon copy of her mommy. Personality wise,  I am told she also was a ditto of her mom.  But I, to this day, in her fantastic sense of humor, definitely hear remnants of the past when I see her act goofy and bring laughter to those around her.  She has the ability to make everyone happy just like her daddy. Mike, my son, has always enjoyed making others smile. I see that clearly in his daughter.  I like to think of that as the humor gene and Ava clearly has that characteristic from her dad.  Hopefully that comes from me. 

Ever since my granddaughter was born, pink has predominant in her wardrobe. First it was the color of choice by her mother. Then, when she was old enough to have a say, it was her preferred color also.    Perhaps we were destined to be close.   Ava was born while I was fighting breast cancer. This disease, as everyone knows, is specifically tied to the color pink.  Long before I ever wore pink, a color I chose to never wear or liked, became central in my life.  And one of the dearest people in my life wore pink consistently and still wears it. And yes, she broke down my walls and changed my mind about the color, her and the disease of breast cancer.  Pink can be beautiful and cancer takes bravery to fight. Therefore pink stands for being brave and being beautiful like Ava.    My bond with Ava is like my bond with pink, it will always stand for something unbreakable, a commitment to putting life ahead of all else.   

Ava started kindergarten this year.  Her independence has begun.  She is coming into her own now.  Breaking away from being a baby, a toddler, and now she is truly growing into a little girl.  She now yearns and runs instead to hang out with her little girlfriends from school and dance on a public outing when they are near.

I am 6 years old and growing strong!

Nowhere was that change more apparent than recently at her birthday party.  Turning six, gone is the little girl who shied away from others she did not know well.   She would flat out refuse to speak, not answer questions.  She is now becoming a social butterfly. And Ava is like a magnet that draws others to her also.  

My somewhat introverted granddaughter who seemed, at times, to only be outspoken and brave around us, family, as now broken out of her shell.  I can remember the days her mom and dad would lightly encourage her to stand up for herself, speak up and hold her own with other children.  Be not afraid, be brave and answer simple questions she is asked that she knows the answers too, e.g. your name.   Making friends is easy and a good thing to do.  Now she does it without hesitation.

I reviewed all the pictures taken from her birthday party to make the attached video to remember her sixth birthday.   Seeing the pictures, I couldn't help but notice there is none with Grandpa and me in it with my granddaughter. Suddenly, by age six, we are passe to Ava.  Wow, life does come at you fast.  Those first few years were very important ones.  I am so grateful we made the most of them. 

Now my granddaughter is truly beginning to come into her own.  She will begin the journey and will remain a brave inspiring little girl climbing more mountains until she reaches the peak. 

                                          Click here to play Ava's Celebration Video

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