My first born just turned 4 today. We’ve been celebrating her birthday to various degrees for about 5 days now. It’s been quite an event. I must say that I loved the way her teachers celebrate and honor birthdays in the classroom. There are no treats involved. All the kids sit around the circle and in the middle is a sprawling wooden sun with a large candle in the middle surrounded by 4 smaller candles. Each smaller candle signifies one trip around the sun that Lilly has taken. Using the 5 pictures I sent in, her teacher explains what Lilly was doing during each year of her life and shows the accompanying photo. Then Lilly walks around the sun four times and after a moment of silence in honor of Lil’s birthday they sing “Happy Birthday”. It’s a really special way to acknowledge their birthdays and Lil really loved it. Let me share with you the photos we sent in:
Lilly at 1 week. This is by far the cutest picture I have of her at this age. Really, she wasn’t the cutest newborn. She looked a bit traumatized from her entrance into this world. Her face was swollen, she had had the umbilical cord around her neck, her head was cone shaped and she was and still is very hairy. Basically she looked like a Chinese chipmunk. But she was my Chinese chipmunk baby and I loved her instantly. However, I must confess that one of my first fleeting thoughts when I immediately held her was, “Wow, she’s a little gross. They need to clean her up.” Below is a newborn pic of her that I didn’t send in to school but do you see what I mean about Chinese Chipmunk?
Moving on to year 1
She was a doll. We were living in Chicago at the time and I would stroll her all over the city and everyone would stop and tell me how adorable she was.
Here she is the day before she turned 2. It was her Uncle Robby and Aunt Kathryn’s wedding. She made a cute flower girl. Daddy was the officiant and as she was walking down the aisle the guests told her to throw the flowers that she was just holding and so she chucked the flower basket on the floor and ran to Daddy at the front. She was just following directions!
Here’s my girl at 3 with her new(ish) pup, Dragon. Her cuteness factor helped get her out of trouble many times. I thought we experienced terrible two’s but they were nothing compared to the three’s. Her strong personality that developed throughout her 2’s was reinforced by a strong dose of attitude and an expanding vocabulary that often got her in trouble. On the flip side, I’ve had so much fun with her over the past year. She is so capable and confident and surprises me regularly with what she knows and can accomplish.
This is the last picture we brought to school. She’s almost 4 here. I look at this picture and the term ‘heart-breaker’ comes to mind and I am scared for her pre-teen/teenage years.
I must say though, that I’m excited for what this next year has in store for her. Soon she is going to be a big sister again, a role she already excels at and enjoys. She has and will continue to challenge me to be on top of my game as a mother. She takes after her daddy who was a very spunky (read: challenging) little boy. She’ll often make me feel like I’m a step behind her, but we will continue growing together and learning from each other constantly. She is incredibly nurturing, spunky, beautiful, sharp, goofy and loveable. Life is just so much fun with her in it!
Happy birthday to my beautiful girl!
~A proud Mama