The thing that is so impressive to me about Lilly is what a hard worker she is. Often times she has to work much harder - sometimes 10 times harder - than other people to learn the same exact things - but the thing is, she does learn it. It amazes me. Her work ethic is so strong. Because things don't come easy, she's never scared of anything new. She looks at new challenges and meets them. She doesn't ever see something and say: "I can't do that" and many times she doesn't even look at us and say "How do I do that?" Instead, she has this internal drive and motivation that she says: "Let me figure out how to do that. And let me practice and give it my all until I get it perfect." She notices everything going on around her, more than the average person, and wants to know everything, learn everything, do everything, experience everything. And most importantly, she wants to do it with a smile on her face (most of the time). When I grow up, I want to be just like Lilly.
Earlier, we went to Target. Just me and my girl, after a fun Halloween party with the little girls in her class. And after going to church, out for bagels, and swimming with daddy this morning. This little girl was kind of exhausted. But she was in a fantastic mood. We parked like a gamillion miles away, but she laughed literally the whole walk to the store - joking around with me, saying the funniest things. She knew exactly what we needed in the store, got a cart, and pushed it around. She helped me pick out what we needed, put everything in the cart, and pushed it back to the front. She patiently stood in a long line, having the best time ever. She loaded everything on the conveyer, paid for it, and took the two big heavy bags, one on each arm, and walked the gamillion miles back to the car, carrying them the whole way, while they were clearly super heavy for her. She never complained, never asked for help (although I offered), was just so proud of herself. We got to the car, and she loaded it up all by herself, got in and put on her own seatbelt, and when we got home she brought it all inside, without any help. No prompting on anything.
I tell her all the time how strong she is, how proud I am, what a hard worker she is. She is so independent, and wants to be. Honestly, I think she could have done the whole thing by herself without me even with her - she is so capable.
Trust me, I worry about everything. But I don't worry about Lilly. She is ready to meet every challenge. I think of Jon and I, and how so many things came easy to us, and how it made us - in some ways - lazy. I don't think I studied much until law school - I didn't need to- and if things were hard, I quit - cross country, tennis, horsebackriding, etc. Lilly doesn't have a quitting instinct in her. Give her a challenge and she'll show you how to beat it, and look beautiful while she does it.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I think I've had writer's block for the past month; or maybe it's been that we've been so busy there hasn't been time to type out something creative or take pictures. So instead, here's a list of random thoughts in my head:
- Lilly is amazing. Every day with her is still like waking up on Christmas morning. I feel, in some ways, that our time together is like a "honeymoon" that we - hopefully - will never grow out of. She is funny, smart, intuitive, beautiful, sweet, and keeps me on my toes. I am so proud of my little 5 year old ray of sunshine.
- Therefore is still bothers me so much every single day that doctors are still giving out such a negative impression of Down syndrome, that expectant moms are so terrified of such a wonderful potential gift, that the world is still filled with depressing stereotypes when the reality is so much better. People: do not be afraid of kids like my Lilly. She is such a blessing, such a joy. Down syndrome is like Lilly's favorite Sesame Street book: "The Monster at the End of the Book" by Grover - the whole time he's terrified of turning the page to find a horrible scary monster, and he gets to the end and finds - himself. Nothing to be scared of after all.
- I am so sick of traveling. This from someone who - in the past year - has gone to Disney World twice, Atlanta about 10 times, tons of little day trips here and there, and a 2 week cruise through the Mediterranean. I feel like I just want to be still for a while and really settle in and enjoy life, instead of being on the run.
- That being said, we just booked a trip to Disney World in early December. And I think we're driving to Charlottesville this weekend. And probably a trip to see my sister in New Jersey in November. And I'm fighting - resisting - a trip to Atlanta at Christmas (while still researching airfares daily). It's a sickness, I think.
- I love working, and I love staying at home. I took most of August and September off work, while Lilly settled into school. Now I'm back working and I love it - I love what I do, I love being busy, I love the accomplishment of finishing projects, and planning and starting new ones. I feel lucky that I have the flexibility that I have - but I still feel like when I'm not working I should be, and when I am working, I'm letting the family down by not being available to cook, do laundry, be more involved with Lilly after school...
- Jon's job is so super busy. Which is good - lots of referrals, lots of good cases, lots of positive proof of his efforts. But it's bad for Miss Lilly who literally doesn't see him during the week - except in the middle of the night, which she's now waking up to call him in so she can spend a few minutes of daddy daughter time. Hopefully he'll get slightly less busy soon, and she'll start sleeping through the night again.
- We saw the Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream show last weekend. It was *amazing* and not just because I - I mean, Lilly - love princesses. It had a Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Tangled theme, with all the Disney princesses coming out at the end, and it was really great to watch. The ice skating/dancing was good as usual, but the tricks of flying through the air on fabric was very cool. A+ (for those of you with little kids)
- It keeps hitting me how hard the past 9 years have been with constant moving and transitions. We are truly exhausted from it. And it's hard that our family and best friends are still so far away from us. And, although we make the effort to visit as often as possible, we're still given guilt trips - not coming to visit enough, not making enough of an effort when we're in town, etc - even though travel is often not reciprocated to see us. Besides being completely exhausting to fly in for random weekends, weddings, holidays, showers, events, it is so expensive as well, and it's extra hard when our effort is not appreciated.
- Lilly is so smart. I love watching her brain work - how she learns things, how she is so proud of herself. I've been telling her a lot lately how smart she is - and she just gets so happy - because it motivates her to try even harder. I couldn't be more proud of my little girl.
- I'm in a food rut. I'm sick of cooking (it doesn't help that I'm working more now so there's less time), nothing sounds good to me, I don't love grocery shopping; it's all so tiring. I need meals to be delivered. (By the way, Lilly made an excellent eggplant parmesan the other day, and she also baked peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies. If I can train her a little more - and get her a visa - she can cook and do the shopping for me.)
- We still have so much to unpack. And, I'm proud that I made about 15 photo albums of Lilly's first few years, but I still have to do the past year and a half of albums, which is overwhelming. Not thinking about those things for now.
- We don't go outside as much as we should lately - first it was the mosquito's - they've been horrible this year and L is allergic - but also we're so tired at the end of the day. When Lilly gets home from school, she just wants to relax and hang out.
- I really miss All My Children. I feel like there's a void in my life without the Pine Valley characters and their drama.
- I'm loving: Andy Cohen and Watch What Happens Live. He is so funny and down to earth, wish his show was on every night.
- Best guilty splurge: the cleaning ladies who come every other week. Best feeling ever is working all day, or chaperoning a class field trip, or running errands around town, and coming up to a super clean spotless house that I didn't make any effort to help with. Even when Lilly walks in on those every-other-Mondays, she looks around and says: "Wow, this looks nice!"