Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lily-Come-Lately

I feel like a lot of this blog has been dedicated to Adelyn. While I love having a place to sort out my feelings and express myself regarding this experience, I also feel like Lily deserves some love too. So this entry will be about her. My first daughter. The little girl who made me a mother; who made us a family; who changed us forever.

Lily. My first littlest love. She's so many things all rolled into 1. She's precocious. She's smart. She's sassy. She's sweet. She has the attitude to drive me to the brink of insanity and the smile to pull me back, all in an instant. She's my first miracle baby. The baby by all medical accounts wasn't supposed to be easy or even be here. I remember the day I got a positive pregnancy test like it was yesterday. I remember the threatened miscarriage. The crying at work. The hospital visits later in the pregnancy. The bed rest. The headaches. The swelling. The pre-eclampsia. But, most of all, I remember the birth. I remember how fast and furious it all was. I remember hearing, "it's a girl" and crying. I remember Steve crying too. Our healthy, chunky, dark haired, dark complected little girl (although it's hard to picture her now as anything other than a fair skinned, blonde haired bean pole). The little girl I had dreamed about. The little girl I had named when I was 16 years old. My beautiful, Lilian Mae.

And here we are, on the brink of her turning 4. The next few weeks are going to be big for her. We decided that she needed more interaction with kids her age so we decided to enroll her in pre-school. Her orientation is next week and the following week she starts. My first littlest love is starting school. I want to say I'm choked up over the whole thing. But, I'm not. It's so unreal to me. I look at her and still see the baby who would ask me, "where'd that parking lot go?"; who called fruit snacks, "snack fruits" and ranch dressing "narnch". I'm going to cry when she goes. I'm going to cry like a baby. But I know that I have to let her go. While she's a great big sister (most the time), she's had a hard time being the oldest. She craves big kid interaction. And I can't blame her. I am always telling her to play with her toys at the table or after Adelyn goes to sleep if she wants to play alone. I try to make her bedroom a good place to go and not be bothered by a pestering little sister who wants everything Lily has. But, it's not nearly as fun to be holed up in a bedroom. She's constantly asking to play with the neighbors or her cousins, but that's not always feasible. She needs a place where she can be her. Where she can learn and grow. Where she can play with kids her age. And even learn a thing or 2.

The same week, Lily has her first ballet class. She started dance last year but was in a "pre-school rhythm" class that promised to introduce her to all sorts of types of dance. While I don't feel that promise was kept, it did introduce her to ballet. It introduced her to a love and a passion. She's not exactly graceful. She doesn't have "raw" talent. But, she has a love for something that I'm going to encourage as much as possible. And, it again, gives her time to be a 3 - almost 4 - year old without the restrictions of being "the big sister".

It's not easy to sit back and let her grow up. She promised me when she was little she wasn't going to do that. But, it's been amazing to see the process as it happens. To see how much she's changed in the past year or even how much she changes day to day. She's so articulate and expresses her thoughts so well when she wants to. She has such a vivid imagination; she loves to draw/color and play "house". She's a mother through and through. She nurses her babies and changes their "cloth" diapers - newborn size disposable diapers that she insists on washing in her play kitchen sink. She tackles me with her hugs and isn't afraid to express her undying love for me and others and her love for God. She gets down on her knees and prays for others. She can tell you more super heroes than I can. She loves older music - anything from Elvis to Journey to Bon Jovi. She's turned into such a little person. But to me, she'll always be my first littlest love. My beautiful Lilian Mae.

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