Happy Birthday to my sweet, silly girl!!
Lilly's middle name is Allegra, inspired by Henry Wadsworth Lonfellow's poem, "The Children's Hour." I had a book of poetry from before I even got married (I think -- maybe I was married, but not yet pregnant), and this poem was in it. The line about "grave Alice and laughing Allegra and Edith with golden hair" always captivated me, especially the part about "laughing Allegra."
The funny thing is, everyone who knows Lilly knows she has the most contagious laugh. You can't help but join in.
Every birthday makes me pause and wonder if I'm spending my time the best I can. I make so many mistakes as a mother. I get madder than I should, I say things I shouldn't, I get tired too easily...
But oh, how I still hope my kids know how much I love them. How desperately I want to hold onto the moments of their laughter forever.
I read "The Children's Hour" to my kids every so often, and recite it to myself even more. When the day has gone too quickly and felt too rushed, and I wish I could have just slowed down a little...
"I have you fast in my fortress
And will not let you depart,
But put you into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
And there I shall hold you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin
And moulder in dust away."
Happy Birthday to my own "laughing Allegra"!