Lily turned five last Wednesday. On the Sunday just before her birthday, she biked all the way around Sloans Lake with me as I ran. Which was kind of the best. I have honestly dreamed of the bike/run daughter/mother combo since before Lily was even born. On Tuesday, there was a celebration at Lily’s school, and the teacher told a sweet story about star child Lily looking down and picking us, making her way over the rainbow bridge and gathering the gifts of memory, storytelling, and friendship along the way, and then arriving in this mountainous land.
On the day of her birthday, we had the Ps over for french toast, whipped cream, and fruit salad. Afterwards, we met an old college friend of mine and Lily biked along the Clear Creak Trail. That night, we ate Spanikopita at Lily’s request and then we paid a late evening visit to Sweet Cow for some ice cream. When Saturday rolled around, we walked up to get biscuits, played at the playground, and then headed back to the house to get ready for our party. We cleaned, shopped, and prepped food, and then at five, our guest began showing up. Joshua made pizzas and I made a strawberry cake. At least, it was supposed to be a cake, but then when I took it out of the bundt pan, it crumbled and looked as though I had dropped it 😦 Oh well. The kids pretty much devoured the whole thing and no one was complaining!
It was funny. We had talked about throwing a party in the beginning of March, and then life with three little kids just got in the way. Just two weeks off from the party, I sent out some text invites and what felt like a casual party thrown together at the last minute evolved into 37 people (I think the final count was 17 kids and 20 adults). It’s so strange how when Lily was born five short years ago, she was pretty much the only kid I knew. We had moved to Denver just a year before, and our village felt more like an island. It feels a little surreal to host a party like that, with kids running amok and our house and yard bursting at the seams. Surreal and pretty awesome. I’m so grateful to know other families with kids!
Lily is definitely growing up. Just tonight, she dressed up in her new (…ly thrifted) dance costume for her little neighborhood dance class. I scooped her hair up in a high ballerina bun, and oh my. The girl looked like a teenager to me. Why do all of my children insist on growing at rapid speeds?! Like, can we please slow down a bit? And then before bed, she came over to me and Luna and then leaned in and cooed, giving Luna smooches and snuggles. Luna looks up at her with a huge smile and coos right back at her. It’s pretty amazing.
I’ve been noticing recently that Lily seems ready for something new and challenging in her life. I see her pushing the boundaries and occasionally provoking her little sister or other friends, just to see the dramatic reaction, and I really think the uptick in these behaviors is the result of feeling a little bored. With school just two days a week and a lot of our routines being the same for the past couple of years, she’s outgrown a lot of her toys and worn out many of the activities. Biking has been huge because it’s been a new challenge, and it’s been fun to see her keep trying and get better and better. First is was starting on her own. Then it was stopping with the back pedal. Then it was better traffic awareness and slower stops. Now it’s going uphill. And the pace that she masters these skills is kind of mind boggling to me. She’ll literally be a different biker at the end of just one bike ride. She’s now gone around the lake with me three times, and one day, she even covered 7 miles. It’s kind of crazy, and I think it’s just an example of how ready she is for new challenges and experiences. She’s more than ready for kindergarten in the fall, and I think this trip to Costa Rica will also be a ton of fun for her.
Some fun facts about Lily at age 5:
- Birthday Menu: French Toast with whipped cream and berries for breakfast. Spanikopita and ice cream for dinner. Strawberry cake at the party. I was joking that she is quite the menu planner!
- Loves to run and bike. She often requests to join me on my run, either for a mile in the beginning and then I’ll drop her off at home before I go around the lake, or now she’s biking the whole way :):)
- Adores playing outside. I really credit Waldorf for this, but Lily is so happy outside. She is so confident in her creative play outside, and I have to say watching her ease outside just fills me up. Whether it’s mud, dirt, sticks, rocks, water, or whatever else she finds, there’s endless entertainment just being outside. She’s also pretty resilient with all sorts of weather. Rain, snow, wind, or sunshine, she’s happy outside.
- Enjoys her dance and yoga classes. She loves reliving her “Silver Bells” performance from the holidays and will often ask us to play the song so she can dance. Ellison is in yoga with her now, and she loves being her “yoga mama.”
- LOVES swimming.
- Still adores stories. These days, she likes my made up stories about Ernie the Gnome.
- Loves playing with her sisters. Plays with Lu for hours and loves holding and sitting with Luna.
- So loving. She adores her many grandmas and grandpas, aunties and uncles.
- Branching out her fashion sense. It used to be that skirts and dresses were her only loves, but these days she’s happy in leggings and a long sleeve top. She’s also growing like a weed and all of her leggings are capri length…
- Lily is such a joy, especially one on one. She’s a great conversationalist, and a wonderful companion.
Oh Lily! I love you so much. Thank you for making me a mother. I’ll never forget the day you came into my life, how the song Heavenly Day started playing and how you looked into my eyes for the first time. These past five years have been the best years of my life. You’ve taught me so much, and I can’t imagine our world without you. You’re a gift. You’re loving and interesting, plucky and creative, a good friend and a wonderful sister. Thank you for being you. Hugs and kisses, Mom.