You see another child coming to the park and shout, “Hey friend!” You look at me and say, “Mommy, there’s a new baby coming here!” When the child gets out of the car and walks to the front of the park, you’re there to greet her and possibly give her a hug. You’ll tell her mom about how a train just went by and we drove over the railroad tracks or about how a fire truck might come out. I enjoy how you seem to bond with most anyone and make them feel welcomed. You and the new child run around and play for an hour until lunchtime, just like you’ve known each other for years when you only just met. You are such a special daughter to me.
It has been interesting to have a daughter with such a different personality than mine. I thank you every day for knowing how to break the ice in a very gentle and innocent way. You have helped me meet many different kinds of people just by being you. Every day you teach me how to come out of my shell a little more and to look at myself through your eyes.
Sometimes it has been hard, though, I have to say. You’re so opinionated that you rarely stop talking. I remember living with my sister growing up and how I’d always fall asleep to the sound of her talking or sometimes calling someone on the phone. When I lived alone in my apartment after that, it felt so odd to not hear anyone else. Now I feel like a mini-version of my sister sometimes lives with me. I recognize that you actually get this trait from your father, who also talks a lot. You remind me more of my sister sometimes, though, because you look like her and have some mannerisms I remember her having. Of course, they are mine because my sister and I are identical twins. As I watched her grow up, I was actually watching myself in a way.
You also have an opinion about most anything and voice it all the time. It’s pretty clear if you don’t like something. I’m not sure if it’s all toddler tantrum-related or if that’s just your personality. Sometimes people tell me I need to discipline you more, but it’s hard to do that because I don’t want to put water on that fire. I don’t want you to turn out like me, when I’m more on the side of not voicing my opinion and feeling afraid to speak up. It’s better to let you be your own person. Maybe I can teach you how to be more diplomatic about voicing your opinion if that’s necessary in certain situations.
Already you are everything I wish I could be. You’re the kid on the playground that the other kids follow. When you start a game, everyone else joins in. When we go to play dates with the mom’s group, all the kids ask first, “Where’s Zoe? I want to play with her!” You hear that and nonchalantly keep doing what you’re doing, oblivious to how there’s a trail of admirers.
When we chose your name, we didn’t realize how much you’d live up to it. Zoe means “life”. You’re my reason for living and you are so full of life. You blaze your own path and beat your own crazy drum. I love that about you. Don’t ever change my dear daughter!