The night before her birthday, she said, "Mom, will you cuddle me to sleep?" She used to ask me to do that every night, but over the past six months, her requests have become more and more sporadic. I agreed willingly, and as I listened to her breaths grow slow and even as she fell asleep in my arms, I couldn't help but think how blessed I am that she still asks for cuddles. I know it probably won't last for too much longer, but I will happily comply for as long as she wants me to.
At nine years old, Bryn loves to read more than anything else. She still has that intense attention that she had as a toddler-- when she's focused on something (be it reading, television, coloring, whatever), it's incredibly hard to break that focus and get her attention for something else. She excels at school and is at the top of her class. She is our quiet, serious child, but with her close friends, she can be crazy and goofy. She had a sleepover with three close friends for her birthday, and as Ben said, "If you girls are the quiet ones in your class, I wouldn't want to meet the loud ones!"
I am most especially lucky, though, because at nine years old, Bryn still tells me, honestly, that I am her very best friend. By this age, she understands that it's not that way for all mothers and daughters. She knows that what we have is special. She tells me everything. As we head into the challenging pre-teen years (yikes!), more and more, I feel a divide between the "mom" moments where I have to scold her for something and she rolls her eyes at me, and the "friend" moments, where she invites me to sit on her bed and she tells me everything she's thinking. I know that the "mom" moments will never end; they're my job. But I also pray that the "friend" moments will never end; that's the relationship that I want to endure long after she's grown.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have a daughter like Bryn. She's one in a million. I love you, Brynie-Boo, and happy birthday!