Zoey At 10 Years Old

It feels like I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this day, but somehow also as if I blinked and a decade passed. A decade. Ten years since you arrived in this world and made me a mother, Zoey.

Words cannot express how proud I am of the person you are, of the potential you hold. Zoey, this year has been a rough one for everyone, yet I look at you and it’s like seeing a rainbow amidst a sky of gray thunderclouds. Fitting, as you are my rainbow baby.

Ten years ago we gave you a name that means, “Life,” and you have lived up to that name every day since. The strength you have found to not just “get through” these past six months of pandemic and quarantine and isolation but to find joy and laughter and relaxation in it…well, you are truly inspiring my child.

You’ve always had a goofy side and I still see your silliness and fun spirit every day. You have found a character from a book you feel you can relate to more than any before – Hermione Granger, of course – and I see you trying to emulate her resourcefulness and tenacity. Your favorite color is black. You dislike wearing dresses, pink, anything “fussy” (frills, lace, itchiness, etc) and anything in your hair other than a wide headband. You have newly discovered the Spice Girls and added them to your repertoire of favorites (Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, the Frozen, Frozen 2 and Moana soundtracks, and pretty much any pop music from the 80’s onward). You still love books, board games and puzzles, and are slowly starting to discover the digital gaming world (playing my old Nintendo Wii, Rockband on Daddy’s PS3, and old Nintendo games). Art – in it’s many wondrous forms – remains a passion for you.

Zoey, you have a welcoming spirit that greets every new person as a potential friend. You have a knack for making others feel at ease around you. It is a true joy to watch you develop your friendships and build a social circle that will support you in the coming years.

We hear your laugh so much more these days. This is truly a gift, given the times we are living in. A laugh so clear and honest, one that for so long we patiently waited to hear. It is a joy.

Zoey, I honestly find myself grateful to this pandemic in some ways because it has meant having you home with me. I get to see you interact with your class as I peep from behind your bedroom door. I hear your intelligent comments and thoughtful questions. I get more insight into what you are learning. During class breaks you run to play with Dinah or do a quick puzzle, and I find myself unable to resist hugging you, kissing the top of your head and telling you how proud I am of you. I feel like I want to soak up every minute of this gift of having you around all the time because I know it won’t last. And I do, truly, love being around you. You are so much fun to be around, Zoey, and one of my favorite people in this world.

I love every little thing about you, Little Bit. Keep being you. Keep shining your amazing light on this world.

Happy Birthday. I love you.

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