I admit that when we named our youngest child, we weren’t thinking about the fact that she would share the name with a hurricane, a very bad one, at that. There was no way we could have foreseen such activity from her, either. I’d already had one child, so when I had to jiggle my belly and consume large amounts of chocolate before this one would even roll over or stretch, I figured, “This is gonna be easy!” Ha! I would like to say I am sure in those moments the Lord above chuckled with a mysterious and knowing twinkle in His eye.

Oh, we weren’t clued in at first. No! She was a sweet little baby..she cooed and giggled and fluttered her little lashes. I couldn’t have been more pleased!

Fast forward a mere 8 years later… Holy Cow! Let me say, I love my Lily! She is a boisterous, energetic ball of fun, but I had no warning signs, no premonitions, just BAM! Hurricane Lily! She doesn’t stop until her little body just gives out. She wakes up ready for the day (most days…we all have our days) and she goes to sleep in pretty much the same strain of energy. I marvel at her. I am convinced that if I could bottle that I would be a quatrillionaire! (And yes, it would be a number! I would make it a number. I’d be a quatrillionaire!) But seriously, she is teaching me.

This child is ignited and saturated with passion! She passionately loves, and she vehemently hates! And she can switch from one to the other in zero point three seconds. It’s fascinating to watch. It doesn’t take much, either. It can literally play out like this: “Oh yes, you made brownies! You are the best mom in the world!! Wait. No milk. You HATE me!” I admit it’s a little stressful, wondering what might set her off…but here is another thing about her whirlwind of emotions – they play out quickly. She absolutely does NOT hold a grudge. She has a great memory – she does like to tattle on her sister, but when it comes to her grievances, she will sooner let them go than anyone I know…myself included.

She’s compassionate. It’s as if she instinctively knows, “This person needs me to be sensitive.” She is a good helper. In first grade she sat next to a girl that lost one of her arms to cancer – Lily made it her job to help Aiyana color when her arm got tired, and when we prayed at night, Lily always remembered Aiyana and prayed for her. In fact, this summer, when we got the news that Aiyana had gone to be with Jesus, the hurricane stopped; she looked at me with big blue eyes, wet with tears and said, “She’s coloring with both hands now.” Yep. That’s my Lily.

She loves to make others happy. It thrills her to make us laugh, and most the time the humor is potty-related. But, she makes me belly-laugh faster than I can type LOL. She brings a smile to my face when she is concentrating on something, and when she gets it, the brightness in her eyes is precious. She writes love songs to Jesus, and tells me, “Momma, I love you one million and 76, but I love God twenty million and 77!” She loves her Daddy more than any other man on earth, and she has often pouted because he is married (and shoots me a sideways evil-eye because he married me.) She’s not perfect. We still struggle with sharing from time to time, and not a day goes by that I don’t find a new claw mark on her big sister; but she’s 8, I give her grace.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, today, as I was cleaning up her room (and ironically, she keeps it very tidy most days), I realized I miss her while she is at school. She really is a light in this house. She brings me more joy than I ever imagined, and I know that she makes God smile, too – probably more so then myself, because He knows what all those characteristics mean, and the woman of passion and purpose that she will one day become.  But for now, I’m still waiting for the bus to come, waiting until I hear Hurricane Lily storm in. She’ll probably rush in with a tattle on her tongue over something her sister did or some funny story she heard at school, or urgently request a new Barbie (probably a Ken doll because she is convinced that the one she plays with is cheating on President Barbie with Mermaid!)  With her, you never know, but I love it. Around here, life is never boring!

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