Diapers, Little Girls, Sharing And Painful Goodbye’s. Posted By Anu

Diapers, Little Girls, Sharing And Painful Goodbye’s.
My little Cassie is now eighteen years old and starting college.  I can’t believe it.  Just yesterday she was a little baby laughing like a woodpecker.  How time flies by.  I can still remember the first time I met her, a little pink bundle of cuteness wrapped in a white blanket.  She was only six months old.  Her parents had brought her to my mother’s daycare.  With her tiny hands, she held onto one of my fingers and laughed, like a little bird, and I was lost.  She held onto more than my finger that day, she stole a place in my heart forever.    
Those initial few months were interesting, to say the least, trying to get her to eat, sleep, keeping still while changing her diaper by distracting her. Looking back on it, they bring a smile to my face.  I remember trying to distract her by turning the light on and off so that she would look at the light bulb, while I tried to hold her down and change her.  I was successful only half the time.  Most of the time, she would start moving around and kicking and I would say in frustration, “Cassie, Stay Still” and she would just smile and keep kicking and moving her hands.  Diaper time was not a fun time, to say for sure.  
Then came the time to get her to nap on her own. Her parents told us they were training her to sleep on her own, so to leave her in her crib and leave the room at nap time.  It was the most painful thing I have ever had to do.  After feeding her, I would hold her till she started to feel sleepy and lay her in her crib.  It was like she could sense I was going to leave her alone and she would start crying.  It broke my heart to hear her cry.  But according to all the books and her parents, it was the best thing to do.  I still can’t say I agree.  She would cry for half an hour and fall asleep in tears and hiccups.  I can still hear her crying in my head.  
She was a little white baby being raised by an Indian family.  It wasn’t just Sesame Street and Teletubbies she watched, she would watch Bollywood songs and movies as well and say, “Anu, why is she crying”.  I would have to explain to a little girl in simple terms that the heroine was sad because of love lost, as is the case in most Indian movies.  So, the next time we watched the movie, which we did many times, watch the same movie over and over, as children like to do. She would tell me, “Anu she is sad because her boyfriend is gone.”  It was so adorable.  She would sit there in my lap and explain the movie to me, as I had done to her the very first time.  She knew all the lines to the songs, as well.  Whenever I took her out to for a walk in her stroller around our neighborhood, I would let her hear the songs on the cd player as we went for our walk and she would just start singing these Indian songs out loud.  People would look at us because it was a strange sight to see, a little white girl singing Indian film songs.  
Looking back now, I only knew her for a little over two years, but the rate at which she grew during those years were amazing. The kinds of things she learned and remembered. The questions she would ask.  She was curious about everything and remembered everything you said to her and repeated it back to you.  She was like a little sponge learning everything about the world around her.  I remember one time, she didn’t want to share her toy with another little boy in the daycare.  I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I explained to her that was being rude and that she should share.  She immediately felt bad and knew that I was upset with her. So, she said sorry and the next thing she said nearly broke my heart.  She gave the toy to the little boy and then she turned to me and said: “Anu, you still love me right?”  I was shocked, how could she think that by making a small mistake, I would stop loving her.  “I immediately hugged her, held her and said to her “Of course I love you, sweetheart, I was telling you what you did wrong. I will always love you.”  She held on for a minute and then all was forgotten and she went to playing happily again.  That’s how quickly little kids bounce back.  One minute, they are so sad and then the next, everything is forgotten and they go to absolute happiness again.  That’s all children need, the reassurance that whatever happens that they are safe, loved and cared for no matter what happens.  

Around the time she was a little over two years old, I was going to get married.  I sat her down and explained to her that I would be going away and not coming back for a long time.  She immediately, as she often did, she grabbed me and held onto my neck and said “No, Anu, Why?” n “I will also come with you”.  How could I explain to a beautiful little girl, who thought that when she would grow up that she would be Indian, like me that she had to stay back with her family, while I moved away to my husband’s city.  She wanted to know what marriage was, who this “husband” was, his name and a million other questions. Every day till my wedding, she would say, “Anu is going to go away and get married and I have to stay here.”  But at the same time, she was excited as well because we bought her a little pink chudithar to wear and I created the role of flower girl for her, so she could be part of the ceremony.  She was excited about the preparations and stuck to me like glue, those six months.  
After my wedding, during the reception, when we were getting the photos taken, she again jumped into my arms and held onto my neck and refused to let go.  She demanded that she was also going to come with me to the new city, I was moving to.  I have never had so much love and tenderness expressed from anyone like she did.  It was the most painful goodbye I had to say.  It hurt more saying bye to her than leaving my parents.  The love between us was so deep, innocent and tender.  Today, she is getting ready for the classes she is going to take in College.  A bright girl with a bright future ahead of her. But I always knew that she would be bright, intelligent and talented ever since she held onto my finger with her tiny little hands.  

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