Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday Lillian Marie Sombar

Lily celebrating her birthday- with so much brotherly love.
Lily holding her favorite baby brother (notice Ben punching Liam in the background)
Lily with her annual birthday # pancake- courtesy of her Daddy Lily looking rather snazzy in her new birthday outfit (she even let me put ribbons in her hair!)



I pause every year, on this day, to recognize the life of my daughter Lily, as she turns one year older. These are happy days for our family, when we can come together to celebrate each other- when we can make wishes come true and chose frivolity instead of the mundane, just for the heck of it. When icecream cake and rootbeer become acceptable meals for everyone, when marginal movies from the early '90s find us all camped out on the couch, laughing hysterically and enjoying one another's company- just because. These are days I wish we had more of but of which I am happy to give-over to at least six times a year (one for each of us in the Sombar Family)- the true daisy-picking moments of our lives.

My daughter Lily is an old soul- one whose days on this earth seem to have been longer than her birthdays would attest to. To those whose presence she graces she becomes an enigma, of sorts, a real stand-out girl in a ho-hum time. Lily is a kid I would have wanted to be best-friends with growing-up. And some days I wish I could travel into her world, in a Freaky Friday sort of way- and hang-out by her side as a ten year-old, though our mother/daughter relationship is enviable for all of its silliness and comraderie. Lily is an eleven year-old with complex layers of humanness within her soul- a spirit who embodies a lot of the best of Tom and I- exceptionally creative, uniquely gifted in the arts, a lover of all things mathematical and logical along with an amazing attention to detail; but some of our greatest weaknesses exist within her as well- my perfectionism and anxiety, my tendency toward chaos and drama, along with her father's muddled work/play boundaries. In parenting Lily, we see ourselves and, despite some of the flaws or because of them, we can finally understand our own greatness, our own dreams coming full-circle in her, and can finally accept that we are worthy children of God.

From the moment Lily arrived, I struggled to become a mother to her, to be adequate enough in caring for this being who seemed destined to go the path of most resistance, in every way possible. I can remember sitting on my couch in Arlington, Virginia, where we lived when she was born, holding her as she cried, calling my husband at work and begging him, with tears pouring down my face, to consider putting her up for adoption (yes, I know- crazy)- surely I wasn't cut out for this job, surely I couldn't do this thing called parenting for another eighteen years. I had made a grave error in judgement and I wanted to turn-back and take the detour to the more familiar terrority I'd trodden for the twenty-seven years before her birth. Luckily, Tom wasn't paying me much mind and the "I can't do this" became "okay- we're doing this." And each year of her life has brought us obstacles we couldn't have predicted, but ones we've surmounted together and in wich we've found our greatest strengths. Every minute with Lily is not perfect, but they are minutes worth more than any we had prior to her creation. Tom and I are better people because of this little girl- we are richer beyond measure, we are deeper and wiser and more capable of loving: each other, her, and her siblings.

My daughter is evolving with every one of these birthdays and it is so exciting, as her mother, to witness her growth and maturity into such an incredible young woman, and I am exceptionally pround and humbled to be her mommy- the being in whom she plants all of her dreams and ideals and worries on, the person she most wants to be loved by and enveloped within. That some one as great as this girl of mine could love me so perfectly is truly hope come-alive, the hope that she will have a journey that is one step better, one-step closer to greatness than that of her parents.

We love you, Miss Lillian Marie Sombar. May this year be your best yet. And may We meet you where you most need us on this journey to your soul's greatest potential.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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