Zoe Theodora gracefully twirled her way right into her fourth year of life late last month.
This birthday came on the heels of Jack starting Kindergarten and Beau beginning to walk. The fact that she is is a little girl amongst her brothers makes the proverbial middle-child syndrome a little less prevalent than we might have seen otherwise.
I know I am biased, but this child is so special.
She is vibrant.
She is patient (most of the time).
She is smart.
She is nurturing.
She is fearless.
She is sassy.
She is tough.
She is girly.
She is curious.
She is silly.
She is a trooper.
She is beautiful.
She is simply exceptional.
Part of me was admittedly a little apprehensive about having a daughter. Would I be strong enough to raise a girl child? Will I teach her to be strong and confident when there is much of me that needs work in those areas?
I am trying to be a role model for her, but mostly I see that I am learning from her.
She teaches me to be a better person, just by being who she is. She doesn’t share too much about her feelings, but she is most certainly registering everything that happens around her. There are times when she’ll say things that remind me that she is taking it all in, during all of the craziness of our lives and hectic routine.
There has been a certain clarification of her personality in the last couple of months. She’s much more emotional and sensitive towards me… Something I’ve wondered whether it would ever happen. Her eyes well with tears the second something adverse comes out of my mouth, or worse, if she thinks I’m mad at her. I’m selfishly grateful that she is trying to connect with me.
Parenting is so tricky… Kids change on a dime.
This child is endlessly thrilled with sparkle and fancy, so when she woke up there was a gorgeous princess dress awaiting her on the first morning of her fourth year of life. Justin and I wanted this birthday celebration in Manhattan to be memorable and quintessential New York City, so we took her to the American Girl store and for a ride on the ferris wheel in the Toys R’ Us in Times Square.
As predicted, she was surprised and so excited to be at that store with wall-to-wall dolls, clothes and accessories. She’s still too young to really understand the hoopla over American Girl (though of course I remember them from my childhood and how I never had one!), but she knows baby doll heaven when she sees it. I completely love that she immediately chose the brown skinned Bitty Baby, and was absolutely adamant that she most certainly did not want to bring home any other doll. She wanted Isabel right from the start.
And of course, daddy had to dress Isabel in her party dress just like Zoe before we ever made it out of the store.
She is such a daddy’s girl. I hope she always recognizes how lucky she is to have him. I know I do.
After our city jaunt, she went off to school for a few hours. More celebration with momma’s homemade peach and brown sugar cupcakes!
The entire family was able to join her for her celebration with her pre-kindergarten class.
…And finally we went to dinner and made it home by dusk for cake and presents. Zoe twirled her beautiful self nearly all the way home.
We couldn’t arrange for the Empire State Building to be lit pink for her, but the heavens were painted pink and purple for a small window of time, precisely the duration of our walk home from our favorite Belgian restaurant.
It was an action-packed day full of glamour and magic, just as it should be. Four only happens once.
Happy birthday, my darling incredible daughter.