Lydia Turns Eight

It has been eight years since Lydia surprised us by coming two months before her due date, and in those eight years, she has not ceased to keep us on our toes!  Our Lydia is so much passion and energy, love and excitement rolled up into one sweet little bundle, and we all had a blast celebrating her birthday.

Lydia is very bright.  She’s always been a step ahead of me, it seems. This will serve her well for most of her life, at least her adult life!  Although, it certainly does make homeschooling a challenge when she dreads anything repetitious.  I’m constantly brainstorming how to keep things new for Lydia, and Dan and I have given up trying to “talk over her head”.  When we need to discuss something she doesn’t need to hear, we can’t spell or use high-level vocabulary.  We just have to send her from the room.  I can’t even count the number of times we wanted to surprise Lydia with something fun – like going out for ice cream, but on the way there she would exclaim, “Can we get ice cream?!?”.  Thankfully, she’s not one for surprises, likes getting exactly what she asks for, and is happy whenever anything is special.

In fact, our family has a saying that Lydia loves anything “new, exciting, and different”.  When I cook a new meal, she raves about it (until we have leftovers).  When we visit someone’s house, everything is amazing, no matter how big or small, old or new, as long as it’s different from our home.  When we ask Lydia to set or clear the table, she undoubtably goes for the heaviest dish, or the least used utensils.  During chores, we are constantly reminding her to do the old, boring things first.  “If it seems interesting, you probably shouldn’t be doing it”.

She’s definitely a dreamer. Lydia is constantly coming up with new ideas for activities, crafts, or inventions.  The other day she asked me if it would be possible to run a power line to the moon, then send tanks of oxygen to pump into a house so we could live there.  I’ve given up answering all of her questions and have learned to aim them back at her, “Would you want to live on the moon?”  She told me she wouldn’t because it wouldn’t be very colorful.

Lydia has an eye for beauty and I’m just waiting for the day this is going to bless our family in a million ways.  She will be my party planner, my decorator, and my tidy-up-er (one can only hope).  When she’s supposed to clean something, she undoubtably will get distracted making one area look especially beautiful, blissfully ignorant of the mess around her.  She’s a bit absent-minded in her beauty-making these days, leaving trails of messes as she paints, picks flower bouquets, sets up pretend princess rooms, and usually ends up curled up in some cute little spot she created, reading a book.

You might not have expected it if you sat in on one of her reading lessons a couple of years ago, but Lydia loves to read.  She can devour a chapter book in one sitting.  I can hardly keep up with her as I get books from the library.  Often, we pick up books on Saturday, and Lydia has exhausted the stack by Sunday afternoon.  This does make some parts of school incredibly easy.  History?  If I don’t get to it, it won’t matter.  She’ll have read all ten books about Thomas Edison in a day and know more than Dan or me.

When she’s not reading, Lydia loves to be the planner.  When the girls play wedding, ballet, or any other form of dress-up, Lydia will spend more time setting up and planning than actually playing.  Abby is always the one dressed up, while Lyds is the one dressing her up, pretend-doing her nails or make up, creating a hairstyle, putting together the outfit, and telling Abby just what to do.  She loves to play with others, and having people over to our house is almost as good as Christmas.  She’s never been one for a lot of toys, but prefers fun activities and “real” things she can use or do.

Lydia is passionate and energetic, but she also has a sweet and soft side to her personality.  She has always been very sweet and forgiving.  She can’t stand to see anyone in any sort of pain.  She is quick to be the one offering comfort, especially to very young children.  Her intense personality and sensitive nature rule out any future in emergency care though.  The moment any kind of “emergency” arises, Lydia becomes completely overcome in her sympathy and goes frantic.  She cries out, runs in circles, and can’t think straight.  It might be a real emergency (like the time Elijah choked and had to go to the hospital) or it might not be (“Dad!  There’s a car over there!!! … Oh, I thought we were going to hit it.”), but the reaction is the same and I am forever reminding her that the best thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm.  Another guideline we have for Lydia is, “slow and steady”.  For her whole life, when I ask her to do something more quickly (she likes to take a long time doing almost anything), she starts breathing faster, fumbling, and accomplishing things more slowly.  We remind her of the “Tortoise and the Hare” and to go “slow and steady” to get things done more quickly.

For her birthday, Lydia wanted to dress up and play princess (with Mommy!), watch the ballet she put on this spring, and have a vanilla layer cake with pink whipped cream, raspberry filling, and flowers on the top (I did my best!).  She wanted to have friends over one night and grandparents over one night, and a special meal on her actual birthday.  She wanted a toy violin and a tiara and a new dress or her doll.  And, knowing our Lydia likes to get exactly what she imagines, that’s pretty much how her birthday went.

Lately she has been asking me throughout the days, “Mom, are you having fun?”.  She was thrilled when we played princess together and I told her I was.  She knows I get stressed out a lot in my “mom duties” and she’s compassionate enough to avoid stressful situations to see a happy mommy.  Yes, celebrating Lydia’s birthday was very fun.  Having Lydia in our home is very fun.  Our family would not be as exciting, energized, informed, or interesting without her.

We love you Lyds!  We cannot wait to see what the next year holds for you!  Happy eighth birthday!