...she's eight.

6/21/2017 05:08:00 AM

"I handled it."

This is what Lila told me earlier this month as we were walking to our car at her school.

It was exam week and she completed Monday's exam. Then, for the first time in my recollection, she went to the school office directly after to tell them that she didn't feel well.

In fact, when the name of the school popped up on my phone, I immediately thought, "Oh no. What did Vivi do now?" (We had a 4-week run of injuries with her...) But, the receptionist seemed to be just as bewildered as I was. "It's Lila. She's sick. I think you should come. She never says she's sick."

So, I picked her up early. She had a fever and a headache, thoughtful party favors gifted to her from her sister who had been sick a few days earlier.

As we were leaving the school office and walking toward the gate, she began to cry.

It was a really sad cry. A defeated, frustrated, I-don't-feel-very-well, cry.

"Lila, what's wrong? Are you ok?!"


"...I have other exams to take. And if I'm sick tomorrow, I'll miss them!"

I told her not to worry about it, it's all good. You can probably take the exam another day. Let's go home and rest.

So, rest she did on Monday and Tuesday. Back to school on Wednesday.

Apparently when she returned to school, along with her backpack and school box filled with sharpened pencils and a tiny eraser collection, she took with her a plan. Without me knowing, she did her Wednesday-scheduled exam and arranged to make up her Tuesday exam that she missed the day before.

When I picked her up, I asked her how today's exam went and told her that we'd go talk to the office to see when she could make up Tuesday's exam.

..."No worries. I handled it."


I handled it.


And that is what this past year has been. It's been about growth and responsibility.
It's been about thinking things through and consequences.

In that moment, no matter what my feelings about exams might be, I was so proud that she handled something without my help.

Becuase that's what we all want, right?

To raise non-jerks who handle their own biz?


Sweet Lila,

It's been a good, good year. You're so, so ridiculously tall. And you're giggly and serious and inquisitive and lippy, all at once. Sweet girl, you're not a baby or a toddler any more and while I miss those days, I love, love, love who you are right now. Our conversations are funny and far more in-depth and thoughtful. You're empathetic and aware. I love when we can both look at one another, through the sides of ours eyes and just understand what the other one is thinking.

You're uniquely you and I love it.


You love to read Geronimo Stilton books... (And it makes my heart happy to go into your room at night to see you engrossed in a book.)

You've moved to the bottom bunk this year and Vivi is on the top bunk. Your favorite part is sleeping with Millie each night, but the bed-making in the morning, which you had gotten a hall-pass on since it was next to impossible to do when you slept on the top bunk, is not something you enjoy.

You still love to cook.

In the chocolate factory and out.


You continue to be the fanciest person currently residing within the household.

Sparkles are necessary. Shoes are of increasing importance. And you have actually remarked to me that I should always look nice, "because you never know who you're going to see." (I don't know where you get this from, because while I like to get dressed up... I'm pretty casual most of the time.)

Lila, your sister continues to be your best friend. The truth is that when you're not together, you don't quite know how to operate. You're so bored. But at the same time, you find her to be so frustrating. It's exactly as it should be.

You and she spend so much of your day drawing, laughing, inventing, cooking, lego-ing, playing... It's fun to watch this relationship develop.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just here to facilitate the two of you as you figure out how to navigate the world together... and apart... outside of my world.

I'm so glad you have one another.

Lila, Vivi thinks you're so cool.

Lila, when you were a little thing, I'd sit you on a blanket in the corner of our long hallway with all of the windows, and you'd read your books and just be.

You still do that today. You get engrossed in something and there you remain.

I love that about you.

You're happiest when you're creating and imagining. This year, there have been so many little story books made. So many little character drawings. So many creations from amazon boxes.

You continue to be a paper-saver, well, an anything saver, really.

The memories tied to the things are what you treasure. Those things are remembrances and you like to fill your life with the good memories.

I get it.

Draw on, create on... keep at it, sweet pickle.

Just when I think you're growing up... you're content to sit and play dolls.

Stay this way.

I can no longer buy you clothes without consulting you prior. Correction: the only thing I can purchase for you in full confidence is unicorn attire.

You never tire of unicorn attire.

Or emoji clothes.

It's been a year of increased bravery. Increased learning, including multiplication tables and of course, of learning the majority of your school work in Spanish. You've stepped out of your comfort zone. And, I'm so proud of you, Lila. It's not easy to try new things... but you're doing it.

I adore your heart and how much you love animals and how you look forward to Thursdays so that you can bring food to the animals at the farm at school.  At school, the library is still your thing. You tell me that you love the quiet.

I understand.

My little pickle, I can't believe how you've grown, but I do know one thing: I am so glad that I'm here to be a part of it.

I love you so much, Lila.
Thanks for making me a Mommy.
I'm so, so glad you were born.

And now, a few of your thoughts...

What’s your name?

How old are you?
"1 day away from turning 8"

What is the year?

What grade are you in?
“Second grade.”

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite food?
“That’s a really hard one. As in, like, for dinner? Dinner is sushi. Lunch is soup. Breakfast is waffles. Dessert is ice cream cake.”

What is something that you’re proud of?
“That I got my spacers.”

What is your favorite book?
“All the Geronimo Stilton books, especially the Kingdom of Fantasy series.”

Do you like to speak in Spanish or in English?
“Spanish. Because it’s fun.”

Do you like to read in Spanish or in English?
“English, it’s easier for me.”

Do you like where you live?

What is something that you need to work on?
“I would not like to answer that question.  Ok, Leia.”

What is the most important quality in a person?

What is the hardest part about being you?
“I have no idea.”

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite song?
“The Moana songs.”

What is your favorite to help around the house?
“To do the dishes. I like doing the dishes.”

What are your hobbies?
“I like to write in my diary. I like to read.”

What is the best thing about living in our family?
“That I always have someone to tell my feelings to.”

What food do you hope you never have to eat again?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A chef. And a dancer.”

What did you learn this past year?
“I learned karate, to improve my swimming, too.”

What is the price of a car?
“42,000 dollars.”

What is the price of a candy bar?
“3 dollars”

What do you dream about?

What do you love about yourself?
“That I am nice to other people.”

Are you happy?
“Starts with ‘y’. Yes.”

If you had a day, where you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?
“Go to a unicorn world. When I would get there I’d obviously see a unicorn and actually ride it.”

What are your goals for your next year when you are 8?

“To read more books."

Love you, Lila.


Lila's Birthday Archive...

The post where I introduced that I was pregnant with Lila. (See here.)
This is the first picture I ever posted of her. (See here.)
Lila's birth story - the story of the c-section. I was quite big. (See here.)
Lila's first birthday. (See here.) Such a sweet baby.
...we had a party. Of course we did. Here is the recap. (See here.)
Lila's second birthday. (See here.) My favorite photo of her as peep is there.
...this is how the second birthday party went. (See here.)
Lila's third birthday post . (See here.)
...the third birthday party post - the recap. (See here.)
The fourth birthday. (See here.)
...and the fourth birthday recap. (It's here.)
The fifth birthday post. (See it here.)
Here's her fifth-birthday-party-recap post. (It's here.)
Lila's sixth birthday. (Read it here.)
Lila's seventh birthday. (Read it here.)


1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday sweet Lila! I always am blown away by how time flies! One of my best friend's daughter turned 10 in April and yesterday in my memories a picture popped up from 3 years ago, she was so little! I never feel older until I see the little ones who are not so little anymore! I love her answers!!!


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