Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lilypalooza!

Seven years ago today I had a baby in what was called a "precipitous" birth, i.e. so insanely fast there wasn't even time to get a doctor in my room at the hospital. One minute I was eating an apple on the couch at home, and less than an hour later, I was holding a baby in my arms in the hospital that was a 30 minute drive way. I was still in the red t-shirt I'd been wearing. My hair wasn't messed up; my eyeglasses weren't askew. Aside from looking a little stunned, I look as I normally did on any regular day.

We already had a son and desperately wanted a girl since this would be our last child. When Mark said, "It's a girl!" I said, "Are you sure? Check again because you HAVE to be sure!" He checked again. "It really is a girl," he said. "Annie, we got a girl!"

We had a girl's name all picked out: Lucy. It wasn't even a question, until I held her in my arms and something shifted. "I don't know," I said to Mark. "I'm not sure what we should name her." Then Lily popped into my head. It was deep and fragrant spring; everything was in bloom, and lilies had always struck me as elegant but sturdy flowers. I decided I wanted a daughter who was elegant but sturdy. Mark took no convincing. He wrote her name on the dry erase board in my room: Lily Kahala Rice Panning. And it was decided. For several weeks afterward, I accidentally called her Lucy. She likes to hear this story now. "Can you even imagine me as a Lucy?" she'll say. I cannot.

Below are photos as follows, 1) Lily on a regular old day in our sun room, 2) Lily with her new purple soccer ball from Hudson, 3) Lily in her new GIRLS ROCK t-shirt from Auntie Amy, 4) Lily trying out the bongo drums from Mark, 5) Lily and I after our first run together this past Mother's Day.

How grateful I am for this feisty energetic girl. I know one thing: holding onto her unwavering confidence in herself is going to be my life's mission all the years ahead. We can do it, Lily. GIRLS ROCK.