(6 weeks late, but better late than never!)
Hi baby girl! This second year of your life, I’ve seen you really shine. Your dad and I continually marvel at you as you reveal more and more of your playful personality to us. You are passionate, whip smart, funny, silly and so much fun to be around. Even though you stand at 34 inches tall and weigh only 22.5lbs, you are our little fierce firecracker. You have the rare ability to light up any room. Your joy, spirit and energy captivate us. Aptly named, you are full of LIFE.
Like all parents, we think that our child is just brilliant. You truly are amazing! Friends and family marvel at your verbosity and smarts. You speak in complete sentences already, learned how to spell your name at 16 months and mastered the alphabet at 22 months. I’m constantly surprised by your perceptivity, language skills and your astounding memory. To our amazement, you can remember song lyrics, books, words and events months after they have happened. Your ability to retain and recall information is truly astounding. (This, we all know, you did not get from your father.)
This past year, we have seen you exploding with words. You are a non-stop chatterbox, constantly talking (or singing), most often demanding things. You have always known what you have wanted (a friend once described you best when they said you “possess a strong sense of self”) and now you finally have the vocabulary to express what’s going on in that spunky little heart of yours.
Some of the phrases that you say that make my heart sing:
- I love you, mommy
- I excited! I happy!
- Thank you, mama
- It’s so fun!
- I’m here! Zoey’s here!
- Mommy pretty
- Jesus is in my heart, praise the Lord!
- Zoey did it!
- Hakuna Mattata!
- Go Giants! Go Duke!
- There, all better
- I funny
- Oh, so beautiful!
- There you are!
Some of the words you say that make my heart sink:
- Uhoh, what happened?
- I fart
- Daddy fart
- NonoNO, I wanna play!
- Uh oh, broken
- Big diaper
- All wet
- Where you going? Come back!
- I tired
- I so crazy
- I hurt
- Mama, get up! Get up!
We hope your knack for quickly learning new things will come in handy when we tackle your next big challenge: potty training.
Even a bigger surprise than your language skills is your emerging talent for entertaining. You are a pure performer. You love to sing and dance. You love ballet, family dance time, wearing your tutu, listening to music and belting out Frozen songs at the top of your lungs. I’m completely perplexed where you got these genes from, as your father and I obviously did not pass these on to you, but you truly shine on stage. Quite regularly, you sing yourself to sleep and wake up with a song on your lips. We love this about you.
Like your dad, you have shown yourself to be a true extrovert. You come alive when surrounded by people. You hop into a circle of friends- kids and adults alike- and announce “Hi, everybody!” or “I’m here! Zoey’s here!” You love playing with your buddies, especially older boys (we are in trouble!). While we are still working on sharing your toys, you love having your friends come over and greet them with loud shrieks, jumping up and down and huge hugs. You love going to MyGym classes and ballet school and have proved to be an excellent listener and obedient student (though I’m not sure why this doesn’t apply at home, too). While, ironically, you still don’t like going to Sunday School, we have made huge progress recently and last Sunday, you were able to stay through a whole Sunday service by yourself. Though I saw your tear-stained cheeks and snot-crusted nose when I picked you up, you made me so proud with your bravery. Like you proudly proclaimed, “Zoey did it! Big girl, don’t cry.” Such a hard fought battle its been that we got a standing ovation by the church staff when we left.
This past year, you were lucky enough to travel to Hawaii (twice!), Las Vegas, San Diego, North Carolina, Boston, DC, Seattle and numerous trips to visit Ahma/Ahgong in Orange County. In your short 2 years, you have taken 38 flights! You are quite the jet setter! You have an adventurous spirit and have shown us that you adapt well to new situations. You love meeting new people and exploring new places. We hope to keep fostering this curiosity in you and take you on more fun adventures.
Although we are proud of your many gifts and talents, we hope to instill some other equally important qualities in you: namely kindness, compassion and patience. Unfortunately for you, you inherited your mom’s feistiness and strong will which often leads you and I to butt heads. Our daily battles have really stretched me to grow in love and patience as I try to understand and embrace the unique person that God created you to be. I’ve always said that my biggest challenge as your mother is to channel all your passion towards good and I pledge to do my best this coming year to guide you in this way. Your father and I pray that you will continue to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You have so many gifts and talents, our desire is for you to use them towards furthering God’s Kingdom.
This next year of your life will undoubtedly bring many new changes and challenges for you as we welcome a new baby sister into the family in just a couple short months. My heart already hurts knowing that this will be a difficult transition for you but Mommy promises to do whatever she can to help you grow into your role as big sister. Knowing that you are my strong, brave and fearless girl assures me that you will tackle any challenge with tenacity. Your indomitable spirit gives me hope that you will be an amazing older sister who will be a great role model to your sibling and a leader in our family. Know that you are so loved by me. You are my firstborn and will always have a special place in my heart. You are my pride and joy. My everything.
Happy 2nd birthday, my baby girl!
Also read: My letter to Zoey on her first birthday.