Believe it or not, my tiny little Lily is about to turn FOUR. FOUR YEARS OLD. How the heck did that happen? I mean, I understand the concept of time moving forward but…holy cow. Guys. Wasn’t she just born?
OK, yeah. Four years ago.
She was mostly happy. But sometimes she looked like this.
So, what better time to write Lily a letter than now? No better time!
You are one amazing kid. From the moment we found out about you, you were a big surprise. Like, HUGE.
Although, looking back, it was KINDA obvious you were in there.
But this is how I found out:
Ah, but I was!
And man, was I happy to see you. Especially after barfing all day (and some nights!) for nine straight months. I even wrote you a poem.
Dear child of mine,
I love you dearly,
My dear, quite clearly,
You like making me lurch
I still love you,
And though my waist,
Has long gone missing,
It’s your chubby cheeks,
I long to be kissing.
And every morning,
As I wretch and moan,
I dream of the day,
That I’ll bring you home.
So darling baby,
Grow big and strong,
Because you’d better be PERFECT
When you come along.
That’s love, right there. Love.
Then you were born. You were SO different from your sister. She was a hard baby. Let’s just leave it at that. You, however, mostly looked like this:
And, OK, occasionally like this:
You were always bound and determined to keep up with Vivi, which is why you walked at 9 months old, and why my hair is now totally gray.
I mean, naturally brown.
You kept me on my toes. You still do. You are extremely stubborn, very single-minded and easily offended.
I mean, (in positive teacher-talk): determined, focused and sensitive.
You love animals so much, cats in particular. I worry that you may one day become a cat-lady if these tendencies are left unchecked. You keep threatening to find a cat, sneak it into your room and feed it until it’s “quite furry and plump.”
I’m sorry about my crippling cat allergies, but that’s a hard no.
You love to play with your sister…until you don’t.
You dance really well, and thankfully seem to have avoided my clumsy genes. You’re a funny kid, although not always on purpose. Many of your jokes end up like this:
Better after a few drinks, I’m afraid.
You adore books and have memorized most of them. The ones you don’t have committed to memory, you read with your own words. Most of which have nothing to do with the book itself.
Which is so freaking cute.
I know I use that word regarding you far too much, but you’re tiny and little and…well…cute.
You’re also really smart. You have my memory (yay) and Daddy’s math skills (double yay)!
You cannot wait for your princess-themed birthday and you’ll be dressing up as Rapunzel. You’ve seen exactly NONE of the Disney movies, but you love my awesome recaps.
Here is The Little Mermaid as an example of a Disney movie, a la Jess:
“This is Ariel. She was a mermaid, yeah? She lived in the ocean with her dad and sisters and, since it was Disney, no mom. She had a pretty sweet life, really. She had a crab best friend named Sebastian and another friend who was a fish named…er…Flippy? That doesn’t sound right. Anyway, let’s go with it. He had a really minor part anyway. One day, Ariel was popping up to the surface of the ocean (a big no-no!) and she happened to somehow save Prince Eric. He was all “Blub, blub, blub!” and she was all, “Not today, ocean! Imma save me a hottie!” And she dragged him to shore or something. She realized, in that moment, that she was TOTALLY in love with this dude she didn’t know at all. So she decided to leave the ocean and chase Eric and marry him. She traded her voice for some legs (thanks to this really awesome sea witch) and ended up succeeding in her plan in a rather convoluted and ass-backwards kinda way. Moral of the story: if you want something bad enough, you’ll risk everything. And sometimes it pays off…and if it doesn’t, you’ll be a voiceless chick who scuba dives a lot.”
See? Just like watching the real thing.
I gave advice to your sister when I did a birthday letter for her at around this age, so here is yours:
1. Try to give your sister some space. I know you love her ALL the time (or most of the time), but when she’s in her head with her own story, try to find your own story as well.
2. Don’t be hurt if someone can’t play with you. It’s 99% of the time nothing personal. And sometimes people need to make dinner.
3. Keep loving with your whole heart, even if it hurts sometimes. It’s worth it.
4. Know that saying “Fine, but I won’t be happy.” will literally never change my mind re: punishment or plans. Sometimes you’re not gonna be happy. That’s OK.
5. You feel ALLLL the feelings. That’s good. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t. Don’t let your heart become dulled. Be yourself, big feelings and all.
6. You are perfect, just the way you are.
So happy birthday, my lovely Lily…my shorty…my munkin…my Lulu…my cupcake…my sweetie…my Minnie… (I’m sorry about the nicknames, but I promise to stop using, like, 50% of them by the time you get to high school). I wish you nothing but happiness this year. It’s a big one, four is, but you’re ready for it. You’re growing up so sweetly and I’m so glad I get to be part of that as your mama.
All my love, baby girl.