Friday, August 29, 2014

Stolen heart

This morning as Lily turns 14
Lily turns 14 today. In fact, she already has ... at 1:47 a.m., to be exact. She bounced into the world rather quickly (7 hours compared to 29 with my first – I have a theory about birth experience/length and how it relates to later behavior) and mostly without the assistance of the physician, who ran in to catch her. The nurses, Lily and I did all of the work. That day and her fragility seem so far away. I do remember rocking on a yoga ball to ease the pain, that I took the epidural after careful consultation with the anaesthetist to ensure it would not re-injure a spinal wound and, 45 minutes later without breaking much of a sweat, this sweet thing was here!

She was a gorgeous, jolly baby always looking for a cue from her beloved older sister. She hasn't changed much. Except when she and I do battle, which has decreased and taught us each something from the other. No one has ever gotten under my skin the way she does. She irks me to no end, but also shows me the endless depths of love. I wrote about her on her 10th birthday:
She shows me what it's like to be wild and free. I model responsibility and discipline. We each desperately need each other, although it's hard for either of us to admit publicly.
Young Lily, busy at the computer; some things never change
In that post, I also wrote about how she whined our entire vacation that summer. That was my fear this summer, when we took the girls to Europe on a long-awaited, hard-earned trip. She was a gem, possibly because I shared the daily plan with her ahead. She likes to know what's coming. The four of us spent a lot of time together in close quarters for those two weeks. That experience eked into the rest of summer and we all liked being together. I sensed this time as ripe for that as both girls are now high schoolers and, all too soon, will be going off into the world on their own.

One of the surprisingly unexpected and wonderful gifts of the trip is how exceptionally close my girls have become. They were always cozy, but in a push-me, pull-me way.  Now, they respect and depend on each other, while each is quite independent. Lily is having the time of her life as a freshman, sampling so many activities, earning new friends and easily picking up a new language. Autumn is off to college classes two night a week as part of a post-secondary education option. They seem to be running in different circles, but after school they often walk somewhere to study or for a snack. That's about the only time they have together.

That means I see them each separately these days, which equates to less drama and more quality one-on-one. I have observed Lily grow into herself, keenly so. She is such a problem solver and always off on some creative adventure like making videos, sketching or having a scavenger hunt with her BFF. 

Lily and her BFF: Dr. Who Halloween
Under her confident smile and sometimes bristly facade lays a huge and tender heart. She still occasionally mentions the homeless woman we encountered in Chicago years ago laying in the alley: How do you think she is now, Mom?

As I have delved the past couple of years into astrology, I have grown more appreciative of her characteristics as a Virgo. A few weeks ago she asked me one of her incessant questions: "What's the most-hated astrology sign?"  I don't know, I answered, fearing it was my own. "Virgo – mine," she answered rather sadly. My wise friend Char shared an affirmation for Virgo with me that I will give Lily today. Here is an excerpt:

"I  accept deeply my keen analysis

and enquiring mind.

I accept fully my high energy

and amazing memory.
I accept fully my ability to see details,
to transform separate parts into meaningful wholes.

I am dependable.
I am precise.
I am meticulous yet practical.
I am industrious and self disciplined.

With great ease I refine, soften, and direct
my inexhaustible energies,
express my discrimination and wisdom
with courage, self reliance, and strength,
my power with delicacy and appropriateness
my invincibility with protectiveness.

I accept my extraordinary ability for self-sacrifice
and my high intuitive gifts that are rooted deeply
to my instinctive human sympathy.

The birthright of Virgo is
to pierce the Grand Illusion of Life."

Lily is ALL of these and more; she's my private wild child who has stolen my heart. Like when Max leaves the wild things, they cry:

“Oh please don't go  – we'll eat you up – we love you so!"

• Who am I close to that gets under my skin?
• Why is that?"
• What do I have to learn from that person?
• What do I have to teach?
• Where is Spirit in this relationship?

tangled hair,
but perfectly
made-up eyes

though I don't
see why

she has a natural,
wild beauty

but, I suppose,
at age 14, she's
fallen prey
to teen experimentation
and off-kilter
marketing that
says otherwise

she has to
discover these
things on her own

as I stand back
and witness
her growing
more and
more into


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