You are four. Four years old. I cannot believe it’s been that long since I first laid eyes on you. What a remarkable journey so far. In particular, this past year has been fabulous. I feel you truly transformed into a child, a kid, a real person with a big personality.
I think the most noteworthy aspect of the previous year is the relationship you have with your sister. I am honored to have been able to witness the two of you become best of friends. I (obviously) don’t have a sister, but know that sister bond is something pretty darn special and nothing makes me prouder than seeing that bond, that love, in my own home. The two of you can play for the longest time, creating wild scenarios and adventures to take your minds on. You have the most amazing imagination and you can finally share your ideas and creativity with Ellie. Through this, you have taught her how an imagination works and how to play. What a beautiful gift to give to your little sister. Although, you play so peacefully most of the time, there are certainly moments when you push each others buttons (she pushing yours more than the other way around!) And when those tense moments occur and you need the assistance of a parent to intervene and help calm the wind, you listen. You take what we say, follow the directions, and within moments go back to playing again (at least until Ellie goes a little too crazy again!) And when you play together, you both have fun! Great, wild, fun!
The biggest change in your life this past year was the start of preschool. You are a preschooler!!! We talked all summer about the exciting change and what school was going to be like. From the get-go you seemed very excited, but for whatever reason, you had so much more confidence than me going into it. I was sure the transition from spending all day, everyday with me to spending two mornings a week with a whole class of other kids and new adults was going to be very hard for you. (You don’t always handle change well…you get that trait from me, sorry!) It was a shock when you didn’t cry and scream and beg for my cuddles the first day, or the second, or the third, or, well, ever! And for that I am so proud of you. You easily embraced a fun new part of your life and genuinely look forward to school days. The program is very play-based and social, perfect for you. I was so pleased to see you having fun, making friends, and blossoming into you. Then the funniest thing started happening, you were coming home with knowledge! You are learning new, wonderful things each day in school! Every single day you impress me with a new tidbit or a new song or a new long, crazy vocabulary word! You are so smart, honey!
Another big change this year was you becoming comfortable with you. You are a bit shy (which I love about you), but this past year you worked to made friends. Lots of friends. Good, real friends. And in order to start those friendships you learned you needed to push out of your comfort zone a bit and communicate and play and learn how to have fun when other kids are around. Now, you look forward to play dates and play groups so much and thrive when there are others to share the joy of playing.
Throughout the last year, you have shown me over and over what a good girl and huge help you are. So, occasionally life gets crazy and I get to the end of my rope, but you are there to help me out. Whether, it’s a kiss and a hug, a distraction for Ellie, an extra hand to fold laundry, or a good old hearty laugh, you get me through more days than you’ll ever know. A Playful Palate grew and grew this year and you were always a trooper on trips to Costco or quiet time in your room so I could bake. I know that all I have to say is, “Zoe, I need you to be my big helper now.” and you instantly put on that pleaser hat and will drop anything to give me a hand and keep a smile on my face. Goodness, I love you so much for being willing to give me that extra assistance.
Much to Daddy’s joy you have developed a curious, questioning, thoughtful mind. You ask how and why things work and are the way they are. We feel that is such an important characteristic to carry. Also, much to my joy you appreciate the simple beauty in the world around you. You comment when a singer on the radio has a pretty voice, you literally stop to smell the flowers, you love picking out outfits that look fancy, and you genuinely enjoy food that tastes yummy on your palate (especially if there are sprinkles involved!) What a great combination!
My Zoe, I love you so very much. Everyday, all day. I love all our amazing special moments together, cuddling until your eyes drift into sleep, hot chocolate and game dates, sharing books and stories and song and dance together. You are everything I have imagined you would be and so much more. You warm my heart. And as your teacher told us, you bring a calm, gentle sense to the people around you. What a joy to all you are. I am so proud you are my daughter. Thank you for being you.