Unexpectedly to me as I sit here, intent on writing a blog update about Lila, the words are just not coming. With her curly blond hair, crystal blue eyes, and powerhouse of a personality, you would think that any description of Lila Addison would practically write itself. But as I sit here and stare at my blank computer screen, all I can think is, “how do I begin to adequately describe who this little girl is and what she means to this family?” There are so many different words and descriptions that pop into my head – curious and adventurous (otherwise knows as mischievous); ornery, stubborn, and willful (or you could say sure of herself and of her convictions); sweet as cotton candy (and at times sour as spoiled lemons); loving, caring, and kind (but sometimes really mean) – but each of them seem to only just peer past the opening pages of the novel that is Lila Addison.
It wouldn’t be exactly true if I said that we always knew Lila’s spirit was doused with an extra dose of indomitability, but it didn’t take long to figure it out…or rather, it didn’t take long for her to let us know. As soon as Lila learned to crawl, we knew we were in for a ride! As parents all know, you constantly look to put your eyes on your kids whenever you are out in public. Parents of multiples (or multiple kids), you know that you are constantly doing the count, making sure you have all of your kids accounted for. When you have five and they’re all newly mobile, you do the count no matter where you are – home, back yard, bedtime, bath time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even for snacks! I can’t tell you how many times the count went like this, “1…2…3…4…………..where’s Lila?” Which was almost followed up a few moments later by this, “Lllliiiiiiiillllaaaaaaa!!! What did you do??!”
With her adventurous spirit, among the five Lila has been the first to do lots of things, but Lila’s firsts have generally not been of the baby-book-documentation variety! She was the first to figure out how to take off her DOC Band and then she taught Jack how to do it. She was the first to figure out how to take off her diaper at night and then refused our constant appeals to her to keep it on…and then she taught Ryan and Jack how to do it. Once we figured out how to make it impossible for her to take her diaper off, she was the first to figure out how to reach into her diaper, pull out the contents, and throw them on the floor…and then she taught Britton that trick (and then Ryan mastered it!).
She was the first to pull her sister’s hair, the first to push and hit her brother, and the first to take a bite out of Britton. She was also the first to figure out how to blame much of her destructive behavior on her sisters and brother…
No doubt, Lila is as sweet as sweet can be, but it is also quite clear that mischief is her middle name! I wrote this about her back in November of 2010 when the babies were still babies, just 21 months along (and too young to be pulling such shenanigans!):
Just the other day I watched her steal a snack from Britton when Britton wasn’t looking. When Little B discovered the missing treat and voiced her protest, I told Lila to give it back (she had not eaten it yet). She immediately shoved the whole thing in her mouth and looked at me with puffed out cheeks and her bright, blue, innocent eyes which were clearly saying to me, “too late, sucker!!”
But life with Lila is not all mischief and mayhem. She is, as stated before, as sweet as sweet gets! She has a thing for grandpas and will immediately gravitate to one (not necessarily her own) whenever a grandpa is in close proximity (we were at a party once and Lila spent the entire time cuddled up on our friend’s grandpa’s lap…she had never met him before that day!). Her real grandpa, Grandpa Bill, calls her his little buddy because of her constant companionship with him whenever he is around.
She also has a thing for ballerinas – she LOVES them! Every day when she wakes up, the first thing on Lila’s mind is ballet – she goes straight to the costume bin to pull out the purple ballerina outfit she got for Christmas and put it on…every single day!! And speaking of Christmas, she is also incredibly fixated on holidays, all of them! Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Fourth of July, Father’s Day, Flag Day, Arbor Day, Columbus Day…doesn’t matter, Lila loves it, and when it comes to holidays, little girl loves to decorate! She’ll first ask, “What holiday is coming up?” and then follow that up with, “When are we going to decorate?”
And then there is Lila’s curiosity which of course goes right along with the aforementioned mischief and mayhem. Here’s an example of how Lila’s got-to-know mind works – we are planning a vacation to the Texas coast for later this summer and every day Lila has something new to ask about it. “Will we play in the sand when we go to the beach?” “Will we go underwater when we go to the beach?” “Will we fly kites when we go to the beach?” “Daddy, are you and Jack going to wear shorts when we go to the beach?” “And the girls are going to wear our swimsuits?” “Will we see fish when we go to the beach, Mommy?” “Is the water going to be blue at the beach?” “Will we build sand castles when we go to the beach?” “Are there birds at the beach?” “And do the birds eat the fish?” “Do we eat the fish, too, Daddy?” New questions have been asked (and the questions asked on previous days get asked again) every day since we announced our beach-going plans!!
Let’s just say that if curiosity really did kill the cat, I hope that its lethal capabilities are only effectual with felines! Lila, Lila, Lila…
It is one of the great joys of life to me to witness how God can pack so much personality into such a tiny package as he has done with all of our kids. Eliot is our happy-go-lucky, wild child; Brooklyn is our pink bunny loving, delicate flower of a princess; Britton is the fireball, as fascinating to us when she expresses her joy as she is when she is filled with anger; Jack is Mr. Happy, a giggle-box who just likes to have fun; Ryan, well…we’ll get to her with the next blog post…
But unlike the others who seem to overflow with their preassigned parcel of personality traits and who are relatively easy to define, Lila is different, a bit more complex, and more difficult to characterize. She is a veritable variety show of moods and attitudes; a super-sized sampling of sugar and spice and of some things not really so nice. She is a plethora of pigtails and tutus, a bounty of ballerina twirls, daring adventure, and sometimes epic fails. She is our Lila Bear and to know her is to know love…(and also to know some things quite other…) :)