If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you may remember I first introduced her to you in a memory from when she was just three, dazzling us with some pretty unique Christmas words of sparkle. (You can read that brief and heart-lifting story here: Words of Christmas I Love )
Since that sweet moment a decade ago, she’s grown into an accomplished young girl – with a zest for life that makes her passionate about music (dance, saxophone, piano), art (creative card making), reading (she’s been known to read a few novels a week) and planning zany fun with her friends. A girl after my own heart…she loves taking time to delight in who she is now, not rushing away her girlhood…and the joy of learning.
Last fall, she became story reviewer when I asked her to pre-read a piece I was submitting to Highlights. Her reason (above) for not changing much of my vocabulary to smaller words delighted me. So articulate in expression… and a kindred word-lover! Making her a perfect interviewee for my blog… 🙂
Before we get to the interview though, I thought I’d give you a few more snapshots into just who this Cait with a C is… and why I know you’ll love meeting her here. Cait, along with her siblings and cousins years before her, holds a dear place in my heart… and I think you might just enjoy her too.
Her thoughts on words made me remember myself at 12 ½. Books I ate up. Feelings and dreams I had. Maybe she’ll bring back some of your own in this story of a recent remembrance crossing in her life… 🙂
I recognized the breathless look. She’d so looked forward to this. A sort of rite of passage. Now, in the moment, it was just a bit daunting.
“Ready?” the clerk asked, marker in hand.
Cait, just 13 today, smiled tremulously, breathed her “yes.” Quickly, quickly... her eyes seemed to read. Anticipating the fun, yes! But like a rose, this wouldn’t come without its sting…
Stepping into her teens, her sweet Anne-of-Green-Gables face was a bit bright – the dab of Irish freckles across her cheeks and nose, and face framed by light red hair, showing a hint of the little girl she was, IS… there, heart in eyes.
“I’ll just mark tiny dots on your ears and let your friends see where they’ll be placed,” the young shopwoman’s smile twinkled back.
The group of us leaned in as one to watch…like family pressing noses against hospital glass to spy the color of the new baby’s eyes… Mom, aunts by blood, sister, cousin and tiny second cousins …and me, adopted aunt… “I think it should be a tad higher on the right,” Cait’s Auntie A pointed out. “Mmm…,” agreed her mom, “just a tinge…” “Maybe a bit this way–” added Auntie M.
Patient with the experience of one who knows these things, the young clerk moved the little dot she was making. “No problem,” she said. “She’ll have these the rest of her life, after all…”
Cait took an almost imperceptible intake of breath, all eyes on her ears. “Lookin’ good,” we all agreed. I could see her steeling herself as the clerk held piercing tool in hand, took her mark. In a poignant mother-daughter moment, Cait swiftly reached for her mom’s hand, held tight… (bringing one of those twinges to my own nurturing heart…)
With a small “ow”… , then “oh…ow!” it was over…Cait’s eyes shining brighter than the dainty sparklers now gracing her ears.
Amid the gaiety, hugs, “You look wonderful” and “Hey, see how you’d look with this crazy hat, these quirky sunglasses!” — all of us trying on colorful chapeaus and bejeweled glasses, laughing and posing — this moment swept her through a bright new threshold of her life, marked as always by snapping cameras. And filling the cubby-sized accessory shop with joyful twittering like the hen’s party it was…
“Let’s take this celebration on down to Barnes and Noble and dig into the goodies you brought!” we laughed, gathering all to the little café tables.
In one of those slow motion moments of time…Cait’s mom was passing little vases of flowers and pretty napkins around, along with dainty little cakes and fresh fruited crème-brulee… “What a pretty little party” the café staff was complimenting, serving us sodas, lattes and milk. And over all…Cait, smile glowing – now just a touch more grown up…
Definitely there in the moment with everyone else, but also the writer in me silently observing – like one standing outside a warm home window, looking into a lighted family circle — I thought…What better place to mark this memory, than among one of Cait’s favorite things (and mine)… books!
Does this story bring back a sweet memory for you? I’d love to hear about it…
© Pam Depoyan