Tuesday, May 5, 2009

when your daughter turns 4

i've never been one of those moms that dreads her kids getting older. i haven't looked back and wished i had more time at a certain age, or wished that time would just stop so i could capture a phase in their life. i've always looked to the future with confidence and anticipation... what will they be, how will they love?

my baby girl turns 4 tomorrow.

to think 4 years ago, i sauntered into the hospital with no idea of what i would leave with. when lily was born, i felt overwhelmed with joy and elation. the day had come.

my firstborn.

my pearl.

however, as the hours went on, and the visitors ceased, i had glimpses of my future, and the uncertainty set in. here i hold my flesh and blood... my lineage, my daughter. i felt, as i've shared before, an intensity creeping over me. how could i shape and mold and love and care for this girl to make her into a woman filled with passion, generosity and the ability to love recklessly. how could i instill in her all the things i value in myself, and yet protect her from all my inadequacies? i knew the task was big, and would be overwhelming, but in my heart i was hopeful.

after one magical year as a family of three, i find out i was pregnant. i knew lily, b and i would never be the same, but never could i have a imagined how much the birth of oz would complete us. time began to blur as the years passed. i've had moments with lil i know were divine, and yet i've had moments of anger and frustration i never knew i contained.

lily couldn't be more different than i had imagined. born with a full head of black hair, chubby cheeks, and shrills that could wake the dead, i looked at my daughter and thought... 'this isn't exactly what i expected.' she continued to surprise me. the look in her eye the first time i saw her hold a doll, her seemingly inherent dislike of boys, her obsession with skirts, dresses, jewelry and all things 'fancy,' all remind me of just how different she is than myself. when she looks at me and tells me 'i will never play sports ever! i will only be a cheerleader!' i cringe, but its not the heartbreak i might've thought. or when she changes her clothes seven times a day, i'm frustrated, but not as annoyed as i would think.

through all my preoccupation with making my daughter someone i could be proud of, i learned that its her being her that's made me a better woman. although its simple, i now paint my nails regularly, i find myself wearing more dresses, and make-up's becoming more and more fun. through it all, in a funny way i've found the sister i never had, and a friend i've always needed.

so here's to lily on her 4th bday. thank you for continuing to refine, challenge and bring me divine joy. i love you goose.


erin said...

i hope you are saving these posts for her to read someday. this one is awesome. happy birthday lily!

Soderin Family said...

Happy Birthday Lily! Have fun at Disneyland!

Tee said...

Holly, what a heartfelt post. I love it. I love hearing how Lily has brought out the girly. My niece, Kyra (who is now 8.5) does the same thing. She brings out the rockhound and singer in me. Congratulation on baby #3. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Jenny Schlenker said...

this made me cry! I love you Holly, I love the woman that you are, the honest friend that you are to me, the way you love honestly and the WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE MOTHER YOU ARE. I was telling Jonathan what a incredible mother you are. Your love to just be with your kids to talk with them enter into their world inspires me. I love that Lily is bringing out new life and new dynamics of you being a woman, a mother , a wife and a friend. Happy Birthday to the first little one that grabbed my heart!