Yesterday, Lila turned 4. Like, one year away from Kindergarten….4. In the blink of an eye we no longer have any babies in our house. No paci’s or bottles. No diaper’s(hallelujah praise Jesus Amen) or bed rails.
The day we found out we were having a girl, I panicked. For real. Everyone told me how great it would be, and assumed we had gone for #3 in hopes of having a girl after two boys. But that wasn’t true. We were fine either way and honestly, I was more comfortable with boys. It’s what I knew. Girls scared the crap out of me. I was afraid I wouldn’t know what to do with one. Like it was out of my territory so to speak. Surely there was no way a girl would fit? I’ve never been more wrong.
I had this expectation of what life would be like with a girl. Partly because people had given me an idea of what it was like to have a girl. And they were all liars by the way.
They told me girls were still. And quiet. And not messy. That boys were loud and obnoxious and messy and would be jumping off counter tops and couches while sweet little non messy girls in adorable ruffly outfits sat at the kitchen table coloring neatly. It felt like opposite day.
Our oldest son, Jake, isn’t daring. He loves adventure and heights, roller coaster’s and anything that swings. But he’s not a daredevil. Like he never took off out into the street, jumped off the side of the pool without someone there. He likes controlled adventure. He’s cautious and smart, ever so evaluative of each situation he puts himself in. He’s fiercely independent. He didn’t so much as turn around and wave when he went off to Kindergarten and I’m fairly certain he’d leave for college tomorrow if he could.
Then came Josh. He’s messy, but more in his own space. He never did pull stuff out of cabinets or write on walls. He just loves living in his own squalor. As long as it’s contained to his room, I don’t really care. He’s caring and sensitive and a complete momma’s boy. He’s already opposed to going away to college and wants to live at home, like forever. Which may be an issue for his wife one day. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, stay close dear boy.
This was Josh 4 years ago, just a few weeks before Lila was born. Thank you time hop for making me cry real life tears ALL THE TIME and forcing me to face how quickly I am losing my babies. And yes, those are the bubbles from my cousins wedding in his pocket. He stole as many as humanly possible. Because he’s awesome that way.
Then, came Lila. Our sweet little girl who I expected to let me dress her however I wanted and wear bow’s(even though I was wildly opposed to bows as a kid) and help me organize rooms and make her own bed by the time she was 3. Or so I thought.
As she grew, her personality began to blossom. I was so conflicted. Do I force her into this mold that my expectations had formed, or do I let her be her, or do I try for a little of both? I’m still trying to figure that out. She wants nothing to do with brushing of hair or bows or cute outfits. If it doesn’t match(and by match of course I mean go, but Lila would say match would mean literally the SAME color) and has a thousand stains…that’s her pick. And by all means, if I suggest it, it’s out. FOREVER. She prefers a wardrobe of bathing suites, cowgirl boots, and PINK from head to toe. So she can go lie in a mud pit in the back yard. And I’m not even kidding.
She’s colored on walls and seems to invite messes(not even on purpose, they follow HER) and a slight amount of chaos when she walks into a room. Stuff just gets destroyed. She’ll sit and color or paint, but Armageddon will leave a smaller wake than Lila’s craft time. She’s spunky and witty. She talks like a grown up at times and thinks she’s smarter than everyone in our house. Humility is not her strong suit. We’re working on it.
She’s funny and intelligent. She hangs with the boys like A BOSS. She can be friends with anyone and when she wants to, she can fold laundry like a champ. But she can also decide to be snarky and mouthy. She’s said things to me that my boys NEVER in a million years would ever entertain the notion of saying to their momma. And we’re working on shaping that into respectful responses. The other day she said I smell like a Fox. She’s been clear on what outfits or hair styles have got to go or how much I smell when I workout. It’s lovely. Like having a little mirror following you around.
She’s also sweet and at my side at all times. She’s going to move mountains or be a leader of men one day. Or in prison by the time she’s 20. That’s our joke anyway. But in all seriousness, she makes our life. She completed our family as cheese town as that sounds. She makes me laugh every day. She holds my hand……all the time. She says the funniest and cutest things and I want time to stand still. Don’t grow up L.
Just yesterday she was born. Now she’s a year away from Kindergarten(by the way, Jake starts middle school the same day L starts Kinder. Shoot me. I’ll be in a corner curled up into the fetal position..or maybe I’ll be doing jumping jacks out of the car pool line? Time will tell). People always tell you time goes too fast and they grow up before you know it. It’s true. Every word. I didn’t listen 10 years ago when I became a mom, and probably gave an eye roll or two, but by kid #3, you have a little more respect for the concept of time.
We have such a limited amount of time with our kids in the grand scheme of it all, and I want it to count. To enjoy her, and their, laughs and giggles. The simple joys and how much fun they can have playing in a box. How much they love cartoons and cute movies, pj’s and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast….or dinner. That they still love talking to us at night at bed time and reading silly books together. They still, sometimes, think we’re funny and not totally lame and embarrassing.
I know, like tomorrow, this could end. So, I’d love for time to stand still. L is our last. Our last little one and she’s growing up. So for today, we’re going to enjoy 4. We’re going to soak it up and let her be her spunky little self(with some guidance and direction and discipline of course). We’re going to enjoy the girl, even in the mix matched socks with tennis shoes and crazy hair. Because she is EXACTLY who God made her to be. She’s never tried to be anything else than who she is, and I secretly adore that about her. She’s comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t care one thing about what other people think about her. She walks with purpose. She’s just fun. So happy birthday kid. You have made our lives infinitely more fun and joyful and rich. Let Jesus capture your heart and live for him, and the possibilities are absolutely endless for you. Because you my girl are a world changer.