Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebrating Five Years

Dear Lily,
Today you are five years old. FIVE. YEARS. OLD. How can that be baby girl? When I look back at who I was when you were born I feel like I am looking at a different person. I don't know her. At the same time it feels like just yesterday and the years have gone too fast. Every cliche that every mother says about time is so true.

Sweet girl, you made me a kind of mom I never thought I'd be. In almost every way. I'm better at this than I ever thought I could be, but it is SO MUCH HARDER than I could have dreamed too. You are beautiful and smart and stronger than any little girl I've ever known. I thought I knew it all before you came into the world only to learn that your little 6lb 8oz self would turn my world upside down faster than anything I'd ever known. You put me in my place and showed me that life DOES change when a baby comes into it, and you also taught me not to judge other mamas because babies don't just fit in to our lives the way they think they will. We have to change, and become their parents.

You also changed the way I love your daddy. I will never forget the first time I heard him whisper to you, "I love you". When he didn't know I was listening. I cried and cried and cried at how tender his heart was and how you'd made it that way. Even though some times I want every one to do things my way, he proves to me over and over that his way with you is right. You two have a special bond. A bond I wish I had had with my daddy. When you look at him you admire him the way every girl should with her daddy. You are a lucky little girl who has the best daddy, and you know it.

Now you are such a good big sister. I know that I am often too hard on you to be a good example to your sister, but YOU DO IT. Most of the time you do it without me asking you to. You show little Addie so much love and kindness and help. You often sound like a parrot of me and daddy, telling her the rules and regulations of our Herman house. You are protective of her and with the exception of when she is "messing up" something you have created, you never ever tell her you'd rather not play with her. Especially with your friends. You are always so happy to include her in on the fun and seem proud to do that. Lily, that makes me so proud of you. When I see other big sisters turn their little guys away so they can be with their friends, you look for your little guy not wanting her to miss a thing. She is SO lucky to have you and she will be a better big sister to little Bryson because you have showed her how to do it right.

You are so creative and crafty and smart. Your vocabulary is so large. You use big words and you use them correctly. You love crafts and scrapbooking and doing things with me and daddy. I think you like scrapbooking because it usually means time together with me and you like Legos because it means time together with daddy. You are very good at both.

Daddy and I don't love it when little girls think they are princesses. We have tried hard to let you love those things that girls love without your life being centered around them. You are a really balanced girl. You build things with dad and like to play outside in the dirt, but you also love to get your hair curled and play dress up. In some ways we've sheltered you from things that other girls your age know about and do, but in our opinion, we are only sheltering you from things that aren't age appropriate and we like how you are. You are still a very little girl. A very smart little mature girl, but one who is still very innocent and sweet.

Lily - a letter can never do justice to what you are like. I could write a book on you, all your quirks, the things I worry about for you, and the things I love about you. I think you will always be a handful, and I'm glad. I hope that you will always be close to me and daddy and I hope we do a better job over the years of helping you to stay really open with us.

Happy Birthday Lily! I love you! You are a joy and a blessing to our family.

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