Hurricane Irene (that rat bastard) hit the day before my granddaughter's quinceanera, so I was powerless (ha, ha, I made a pun, ha, ha) to wish her the very best on my blog.
Catherine Delaney Dowd will always hold a special place in my heart, and not only because she was my first grandchild. I saw her first just minutes after she was born, tightly swarthed and looking extremely content, as if she was taking in the world around her and giving it her approval. I have not seen another baby just so happy to be since her mother was an infant. Her joy was contagious.
So we began by calling her Cayley, but never settled on a way to spell it. Over the years she's been Cayley, Caylee, Kaylee, Caley, and a zillion other variations (but not -- thank God -- Kali). Several years ago, she settled on the Gaelic Ceili, a spelling that totally suits her. Of course, she also came up with a number of other names to be inserted anywhere -- Japanese names inspired by manga, anime, or cosplay. (Her mother had changed her middle name to Mary for about a year during grade school.) Sometimes her alias is Axel McFlamingham. I have no idea why. It's just one of the reasons why I love her.
Ceili is smart, sweet, and stubborn -- qualities she shares with the female members of her family. She is also beautiful, another family trait for which I hold no responsibility. She makes me smile. She makes me laugh. She recently has made me nervous; she is now at the age where not all boys are yucky. I had to go through that with both daughters and now I have to begin all over again with a new generation.
I have had an extraordinarily lucky life. Ceili has been a major factor in this.
I love her more than I can express. Part of me wants her to go back to the giggling three-year-old that I gave piggy-backs rides to. The less selfish part of me knows that, at fifteen, her life is going to get only more wondrous. I only wish they did not grow up so fast. I know she's already looking forward to sweet sixteen. The selfish part of me? Not so much.