Monday, October 25, 2010
Happy Birthday Lillian
For bloggers who often write about their children, I have committed one of the cardinal sins of the blogworld.
Your birthday passed, without the ubiquitous letter I was supposed to post. I kept meaning to sit down, and it was certainly on my to-do list, but I had two tests in the span of a week, out-of-town guests and a party to plan, lots of things to bake and cook. It fell by the wayside.
Well, that, and every time I considered how to begin, I kept coming up with things like:
To my beautiful demon, or
Dear Child-Who-Keeps-Waking-Me-Up-At-4:30am-To-Use-The-Bathroom, or
Dear Lily, You're getting a little bit nicer these days, or
Birthday Girl, I'm almost over the PTSD brought on by your infancy.
And then I was like, birthday letters are supposed to be nice and lovely and filled with flowery language singing the praises of one's child. Not a run-down of all the things you were supposed to outgrow after turning 4.
But listen, I don't think there's any crime in telling the world that you're still a...challenge. You have been from the get-go. Most kids are, in their own unique snowflake kind of way.
Our chief priority is getting you to understand the world is a better place if we're all not assholes to each other. This includes trying to get you to realize you shouldn't close your sister's arm in the car door, or draw on her pictures, call her a poop poop, or throw things at her. I mean, I know she's not perfect either, but I'm estimating the bad behavior is really about 80/20, and guess who's the 80?
It's completely not easy being 5: having snacks brought to you, school days involving paint and glitter and dry-erase boards, watching Curious George and going to friends' houses to occupy afternoons.
(Wait a second, that sounds amazingly easy AND magical. It's a world I want to inhabit, now.)
But I have seen some improvements. You're at least willing to entertain logic. If I give you the chance, you'll often make the right decisions. You apologize more willingly for your infractions these days, and somehow you're sticking to your decision to be a vegetarian despite having one day that was full of bacon. That one is difficult for you. You love animals and want to protect them, so why do they taste good? It's a question I'm unable to answer for you, love.
God knows, you keep me all kinds of entertained.
The night before your party, we were all watching a stand-up routine by Jim Gaffigan on Comedy Central. It was generally kid-friendly, and you and Hannah enjoyed the bit about camping, and how crazy the entire concept is. Listening to you both laugh at his mannerisms and inflections killed me. On the way up the stairs to bed, you tried out your own routine on me, borrowing heavily from the material you'd just heard, and trying your best to mimic his every blank look and perplexed affectation. It's funny how sometimes you crave an audience. That's your personality: song, dance, comic bit, you like to have people's attention.
Except when you don't. Like when people sing Happy Birthday to you. I had to hold you for this year's song. One day, I believe, my children will be able to hear that tune without crying.
Lillian, I give you a hard time. And you give me a hard time. But I love you and couldn't live a day without you. (Well, maybe a day or two, provided you were hanging with your grandparents. I'd try that.)
You really are so special, and I know one day your creativity and assertiveness will suit you well, and turn you into a kick-ass woman.
Happy 5th Birthday, belatedly, on the blogosphere, to my girl.
Posted by Kelly at 7:41 AM