Dear 7 year old Zoe
10 days ago you turned 7 and I’m sorry it took me this long to write. Right now we are in the middle of a move, a move you don’t exactly want to do but you are VERY clear that you want your own room. This is pretty new since 6 months ago you didn’t want to be alone, maybe it is the change in roommate…
The other major development is that you wore me down on the dog subject. Not that I want you to ask, beg, bargain, convince me of something you want basically daily for over 3 years, but, it did seem to work for you. Our puppy is here because you willed it into being. You are also doing a good job taking care of her but aren’t puppies a lot of work? I’m reserving my ‘told you so’ until you read this as an adult and you can really see what I mean. I do hope someday you get the golden and lab and 9 other types of dogs you want, I’ll visit you in your own house.
This year in school you absolutely rocked reading. At the start, you were pretty ok, and now, you can read anything. You go through phases of reading in bed and for a while it was frustrating when you didn’t now a word so I gave you a card to write the words you don’t know and I would tell you them the next day – I see your frustration when I saw your words, you were reading Dr Seuss book that was about professions you can be and besides the absolutely made up words they had professions like ornithologist to confuse new readers like you! We have read the Critter Club 2-4, The Magic Tree house #whatever, a semi-annoying book about a sassy girl, and so so so many other easy readers but I’m looking forward to reading more real books with you.
School was also decent socially. You have a great friend Lizzy that we carpool with, you are happy to be friends with Zoey T in your class and while there is still a friend musical chairs game going constantly in 1st grade you seem to be nice to everyone and generally well liked. I know because I come visit, not enough for your taste but I will try to get there more next year I promise. Most of the time you are fearless about social situations but I realized one day when Niamh had to miss a swim lesson that you get some of your braveness from being with your sister. Being in the middle you usually have one sister or another and sometimes you gripe about them, but, you like having them there I can see it. They are your friends and your playmates and the people you fight with and the people you hopefully will stay close to – we have a good start and I think I’m setting a decent example.
Physically these days there isn’t anything much you can’t do if you know how. You monkey bar, you ride your bike without training wheels for miles, you can swim pretty well and are learning the different strokes in swim lessons, and your handwriting is decent. Jujitsu is getting easier for you and we don’t have to bribe you so much to go, finally getting good at something really does help you like it, I hope you are happy we didn’t let you quit.
Like every kid you have your challenges. I’m so glad you are past the fight about going to bed stage, now it is only 1:50 nights that you fight about it. You have a tendency to get down about things, like a tiny fatalist. You still worry about death and all sorts of things going wrong. You like to hear what we are doing tomorrow so you know what to expect in general, going in cold makes you crazy. If you are not prepared there is a tone of panic for the entire event, conversely, if I tell you what to expect you are ready for anything. I get the feeling that you will not believe in fiction for too long, although, you play along well and are good at finding evidence that Santa and fairies exist. You are getting into a yelling phase and a little bit of a silently mean stage where you poke a sister until they yell. Nothing I’m really worried about but when you get to pushing my buttons I’m not exactly happy. You also tell the truth in a very insightful way, I kinda hate that you see my (and dads) shortcomings so clearly but I’m glad to have my own personal reality check in house and you don’t usually hold a grudge. You also have a way of pushing pushing pushing that I hope you grow out of….
There are millions of unique things about you but what stands out to me is how you (still) do so well at remembering preferences and what needs to be done and most of the time you are pretty good at doing them without a reminder. I saw you clean up cat poop from our aging cat without being asked. You are also very expressive in your writing, I think it is a way for you to process (and your teacher makes you write daily). What you write about, and how you write constantly impress me because you pick such a perfect thing to say. I published this before but I can’t help loving how well you captured your love for our cat and also the need to let him go.
You did NOT want to be there, but, you wrote him letters for me to read to him. You also leave me notes sometimes, it is super cute.
I think you were relieved to have it done with, so was I in lots of ways, he was so ready to go he was just waiting on us. I dread any future decision with Prima but I think that will be many years away and we can ‘enjoy’ the puppy for a while.
You are a perfect middle, you flex up to hang with Niamh and you have fun being little and/or in charge with Fiona and her friends. You are small overall, your feet are really really small. You are in a 12.5 STILL, you wear out shoes before you grow out of them. I moved you up to 7s since I was doing all the moving prep and you are still highly opinionated about what you will wear. We need to go shopping (you tell me daily) and fill in the gaps to make this a Zoe wardrobe. You are more into things, collecting, finding, buying, giving, trading. There is a hot market in school that I can’t even describe but I just hope it is fair. Fairness is your watchword – not unusual for the age but you do seem to take it personally. Lucky for me you are semi-logical and I can usually get you to see why you can’t do everything that Fiona or Niamh or some friend does.
Every morning you want hugs, every night you want your songs and talk about tomorrow. Our routine has changed over the year but there is always a routine to follow. You are loved by so many people outside our family – Lizzy, Becki, Cecily, Andy, Josh, Karen, Liz, Ziz, Johan (who says you will take over the world someday) Kathy and so so many other friends, you make a big impression on people.
A little record keeping – in your 6th year you went to the Kalahari Resort and loved it, Pennsic and are counting the days to go again, Hawaii – and when I told you we were moving you suggested we move to Hawaii. Lots of local travel, Ny and I think that’s it? Still tons for a 6-year-old.
I can write about my kids for days, I do actually, more or less 90% of my posts for the past 9 years centered around kids somehow. The day needs to start and I need to tell you what is for lunch so you can ask me to make you lunch. Hey, at least sometimes you eat school lunch, better than last year! I think your choice is based on the dessert but the fact you can remember what the main course has what dessert because I never list them is impressive. I think that is the theme of Zoe – you impress me, nothing is half way, all ZOE all the time and I love you in every possible way.