Saturday, 27 July 2013

lily // impossibly five

Impossibly five.

How can it be? She has transformed before me into a child. Isn't there just something about five? Chubby legs now long and lean, hands are strong and dexterous. She engages, observes, converses, plans, imagines.... and organises - oh, how she organises. A girl after my own heart in so many ways!

No longer a baby, a toddler... even preschooler does not seem apt, though that is what she is. A 'child' is all she can be labelled now. Her little years seem far behind. Sometimes it takes my breath away - seeing her aboard this 'growing up' train, it chugging forward along the track and realising there is no turning back now. Five full years behind us (magical years) and many more (I pray) of growing up ahead. I wonder about the foundation that's been laid in those little years. I pray it is a strong one built on faith and our family values. I am excited about the years to come. I watch her blossom before me, and I pray for strength to guide her along the path. A path that we both will need to learn to navigate, with grace for our many missteps along the way!

Her cheeky-silly-giggle face. I love, love, love!

Cracking herself up...full-throttle-happy.

Lily. She enchants me. As our oldest child she will always forge the path, and I will always be trying to keep just ahead, or walking alongside or even tagging at her heels, learning with how to navigate these new ages and stages with her. School challenges, friendships drama, exploring new freedoms and boundaries and so on. So much awaits us both!

I marvel at how aware she is becoming. Socially engaged and observant, she tucks away every little social cue she picks up on, and is just so sensitive and thoughtful. Discreet (she can keep things private, and knows to check with me before asking someone if they are pregnant now!), helpful, and always concerned for others. The other day a friend leaving the house was juggling bags to the car, and Lily was quick to pipe up 'Can I give you a hand carrying something?' and eagerly lugged a bag. *melt* (yes, proud mummy moment).

She yearns to move around in this world and be part of every adventure to be had! She is going places, my little girl. She is so very keen to be a grown up (who can stay up late and not have to follow rules... little does she know?!). Don't rush, darling, these childhood years are precious and fleeting. And I need more time to prepare!! ;)

I have seen her blossom this year, becoming a 'big' big sister. Having a baby when one of my children is old enough to really understand and participate in the experience has been an unexpected pleasure. She tenderly watches out for Miles, care and cuddles, anticipates his needs and fiercely protects. And begs, begs, begs to do more for and with him. Little girl, I pray you are one day blessed with your own baby to cherish - I know you will rock it out, you already nurture and soothe like a pro!

Her relationship with Eli grows deeper and more complex as he gains independence and desires more say. They negotiate and sometimes squabble, but they desire to be together always and so they forge through working out how to play together when they don't quite want to do the same thing. A training ground for life, huh?! I am so grateful for their devoted and adoring friendship. Their bond is so precious to me. Now they share a room, their adventures and hijinks have increased, as they whisper and giggle into the night.

Lily has found vulnerability this year... the girl who has always found friendship in everyone she encountered had her tender heart a little broken by some tricky friendship issues. It is new for her to encounter such things and new to me helping navigate it - how to encourage, whether to step in, how to support, equip and guide her in this crazy complex world of female friendship. Being skilled in choosing good friends can save a world of hurt... but it is one of life's realities to have to deal with a bit of drama too. Always be kind, my little one, but choose wisely to whom you give your time and heart!

Those eyes have got a twinkle, no doubt about it.

She is a party animal. Every morning she asks 'Who's coming over today?' (Admittedly, usually someone!). At any gathering, she eagerly counts numbers and always wishes for a few more. She loves people all around her. The more, the better. She remembers details about friends and family that I have long forgotten and can tend to get almost hysterical with excitement when we have a group of visitors. A little social butterfly.

She has emotions. Many. Often every shade of the rainbow can appear in a short time space. They are worn on her sleeve. She is a happy, cheerful, easy going kid but is also tender hearted and quick to tears when disappointed, hurt, frustrated, embarrassed, or just plain tired. Tears, oh tears, they are aplenty. Is there anything like the tears of a young girl?! I have to bite my lip at times, almost smiling at the seemingly minor things that can send her to floods of heartfelt tears.... but they appear only at home in the privacy and comfort of family. Out in the world, I see her breath deep and soldier on. Although it can be exhausting, managing those very damp emotions, it is sorta nice to know she has a safe place to let them all flood out. I know she will take some hard knocks in years to come, but at her core she is strong (God goes with her!) and I know she will get through as she learns to temper her tenderness with resilience.

She has a simple and sweet faith, with Jesus a friend whom she carries everywhere in her heart. When I told her she could choose a show to watch because it was her birthday, she chose a Bible Stories DVD 'because God has blessed me on my birthday'. I mean, seriously!! The faith at the heart of our home and family seeps into her daily life and is in the heart of every value we instill. When it flows back out naturally from her heart and mouth it is such a gift. I am grateful to see her question, search and soak up the truest and most valuable truths and, oh, how I pray they will live in and transform her heart. God be with you.

As much as I loved my teeny baby girl and cutesy little toddler, it is true when wise older parents say 'it just keeps getting better'. More than a plaything or a doll or a busy bee to run after or entertain, she is now her own girl. She has ideas, plans, activities. She entertains herself and invites me into her world of play. It is fascinating to see the girl within unfold, to see her drink in and navigate the intricacies of the world and see it all anew through her eyes. I love just chatting with her and hearing all her views and news. She wants to understand and be part of every grown up conversation (ummmm yeah, I need to be more careful with what I talk about in her presence!).

I am so grateful to call this sweet girl my own. So privileged to watch her grow and flourish. It has been five wonderful years mothering her. Five incredible years (both amazing and terrifying) of motherhood for myself. God truly blessed me with such a child. As we learn and grow together, I just know I love, love, love her. And when I risk tying myself up in knots, over-analysing this parenting gig or kicking myself for failing, I remind myself that that love is actually the key.

God works out the rest.

Happy 5th birthday, Little Lily xx

This is she... sweet cardigan mixed with filthy play shoes.
Yep, she can dress up but she can also run and jump and play in the dirt!


Watching The Sound of Music, playing with friends, parties, presents, dressing up (tutus and fairy wings always preferred), box construction, drawing, painting and craft, cooking, reading.


Mushrooms, hurting herself, wearing jeans, trackpants, or jumpers, getting 'sweaty'.

An Interview with Lily @ 5

What are you going to be when you grow up?
A Ballerina Teacher

What’s that going to be like?
It's going to be fun!

What are your favourite toys?
My favourite teddy bear and my new music box

Who are your best friends?
Elsie, Emily and Eden

What makes you happy?

What makes you sad?
People fighting

When you dream at night, what do you dream about?
I dream about stars floating on my leg (giggles)

What do you like to do with Daddy?
I like wrestling with him.

What do you like to do with Mummy?
I like watching a movie with her

What do you like to do with Eli?
I like playing Mummies and Daddies - and chasey!

What do you like to do with Miles?
I like giving him a big smooshy hug.

What’s your favourite colour?
Pink, purple, silver and gold

What’s your favourite book?
Nursery Rhymes (a big fairy tales and nursery rhymes compilation we have)

What does Daddy do during the day?
He goes to work and sometimes on Saturdays he stays home. At work - he works and spends money and brings home the bacon.

What does Mummy do during the day? 
Mummy stays home and looks after me and Eli and Miles and sometimes you go out to your meeting. 

What do you do during the day?
I stay home and play with Eli.

It's good to be five because.....
You get to stay up a little bit later. :)


  1. Oh Kate, your honest, heart-felt and ever-so-descriptive words for your children always get me. How blessed Lily is to have a mum who observes her so closely, celebrates her strengths and supports her through any challenges. With you on her side I don't doubt that she will grow up to be a well-rounded and loving child/teenager/adult.
    Everything about this post screams LILY! It is just perfect in every way.
    What a treasured piece of writing to have for future years. xxx

  2. What an honest and loving post for your oldest girl. She's quite the camera charmer, isn't she? A love letter to a grown Lily, for sure.

  3. She is so beautiful, just like her mumma! You will need to lock her up when she is a teen ;) haha but seriously she is gorgeous! Her spirit shines through the photos!

  4. She is so stinkin' adorable! I love all of the expressions you caught. She sounds like such a fun and loving little girl, and I love how you write about her!


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