Saturday 27 August 2011

Happy Birthday Ilo

 Sweet, sweet Ilo, what an amazing little person you are. I have loved looking back at the last year through photos, gazing, laughing and adoring you. I love that looking back I see your personality shining through. 

photo by Cass

I loved seeing the beautiful and quiet moments that you share with your dear friend and very lucky brother, Poe. How sometimes you are both so close but get caught in something separate, the peace between the two of you in those moments seems like the easiest thing ever. Two people together but apart, even today, these moments give me such joy whenever I experience them. 

  I was also able to catch a couple of moments of quiet reflection of your own. And I guess as an added bonus,  I was able to capture your love of pockets, unfortunately I haven't yet captured the times when you create pockets in pants that don't even have pockets, in these moments all I see on your face is pride, pure pride, "oh yeah", i can hear you think. 

Capturing, your enthusiasm for food and sweet way in which you have always fed yourself (you bear a striking similarity to your Aunt Suriya when you eat yoghurt, who even now continues to eat yoghurt in this fashion). 

You are so affectionate and amazingly aware of others feelings. Even when you might do something that upsets Poe, you often fold your arms and dig your heels in and then within seconds I hear you coming up to Poe and saying "Dorry Popo" and patting him on his back "kay now?" and then offering a kiss or cuddle, which Poe always takes up.

Your humour never fails to astound me, for someone so young you just get it. For instance in this photo with your uncle Manu, you knew that the pointing of the finger was crucial to the humour of the moment and then you spent weeks after laughing as you reminisced about you and "Mamu" wearing funny "hats" and pointing.

 Your grandfather Phil, decided that it would be interesting/amusing to have you copy him as he listed various airlines (Phil did a similar thing with  Poe at the airport when he was also around 16 months), you would repeat the word after him, "QANTAS, KOREAN AIR, MALAYSIAN AIRLINES" and then Phil said "LUFTHANSA" and you just put both hands in the air, oh my goodness my darling one, so so funny (if you don't get it, say LUFT HANS A slowly).

Your love for the guitar/banjo/double bass/fiddle, whatever it is at any given moment is just a delight. I adore hearing you singing dadda's songs, songs from preschool or songs you make up ( a particular favourite of mine is the "Booba" song). Even as you adapt Dadda's songs from "Going the wrong way Jesus" to "Going the wrong way Banjo", I love seeing your ability to be creative, to know the words but delight in creating your own. One day you and Poe were playing and Poe, being quite shy decided to whisper to you a song you should sing. You sat there and listened and listened and listened, taking it all in and then you just launched into this amazing song, with noises unlike I have ever heard, but with such passion, focus and totally ernest. Poe meanwhile was rolling around on the ground laughing "that's not what i said to sing Ilo".

Ah friends, what a delight they are. I love how now that we are in Bellingen, you continue to talk about special moments you have had with your friends, how your friends are in your heart. I love the way you foster certain friendships and how smitten some people are when you fix your gaze on them; Vince, Annie, Ruth, Rod, Mamu, just to name a few special ones. 

Seeing you and Poe together as you potter throughout the house, as you sleep together, as you work stuff out, hearing your voices, the games you play and the way in which you are so content in each others company, it just oozes love (ok, there are definitely um "moments" but this is the place where you learn how to work things through).
Poe delights in having you in bed with him, he makes sure that you are not too hot and he instantly reports anything that happens to us "Mum, Ilo's cheeks are really red and he feels really hot, come and look", "Mum, I just held Ilo's hand when he was sleeping and he smiled".

I love hearing the pitter patter of feet in the morning as either you or Poe make your way back into each others bed (when Dadda and I go to bed, you come to bed with me). Poe loves being there when you wake up and often has something for you; a doll or special toy to cuddle, ready for when you wake up. It definitely makes Poe's morning to have you smile at him as soon as you wake.

Lately you have been asking more and more questions, which is so wonderful, seeing that mind grow. Often the questions relate to things in a way that is so heart warming, you are really interested in "Who made that?", I guess because we do so much crafting, making our own clothes, food, things around the house, etc and then have friends who do similarly. So gorgeous. To hear you say with pride "Mumma, made it for me". Oh my. 
Another question is "Who is that?" and this may be someone singing, anyone we may be walking pass, any number of people really and then when we tell you, your "Ohh" is so considered and thoughtful. Like Poe you are also aware of people (rather than a he or she); what is that person doing? Such a simple  way of not attaching gender stereotypes. And seeing people as people.  

Sweet darling one, so beautiful, kind, caring, funny and happy. When Poe is at preschool you often potter by yourself and between Dadda and myself. One day Dadda was playing guitar out on the back steps and he marvelled as you got some paper and a pencil and then just lay down by his feet and drew, enjoying kicking your feet casually in the air, totally content.
Around the same time I was sewing on the same back steps and you remembered that a while ago I needed a cushion for my back so without saying anything you went and got a cushion for me and said "here Mamma, so back doesn't get sore" and then when I put the cushion behind my back "better now Mumma?" Oh my, these sweet moments happen everyday.

Little Ilo, from a young age you have been able to engage people in a way that is so transparent in it's beauty, thank you for shining that light our way, and letting us be the lucky parents who get to assist you in your journey through this life. We feel incredibly lucky and so honoured to be your parents. Thank you and Happy Birthday beautiful. 


  1. what a beautiful post Jay! Happy birthday little Ilo. You are one special kid with a very special family. Xx

  2. Oh Ilo, how we all love you! Your personality is about a hundred times bigger than your wee body, and it delights all who meet you. What a wonderful journey you have ahead of you. xxx


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