Letter to Zoey on Your 3rd Birthday

by ilene on October 30, 2015 · 7 comments

in parenting, Zoey's 3rd birthday

My Zozobean turns 3 today! Here is my letter to my firstborn daughter:


Dear Zoey,

The “terrific twos” was a great year for you.  In my books, the past 12 months will be known as the year of Surprise Eggs, Disney princesses, unparalleled tantrums, Jana Alayra songs, potty training and meatballs.


I know you don’t appreciate it yet, but this was the year your father and I gave you the biggest gift we could ever give you: a sister.   Your baby sister Skylar greeted you at the hospital with kinder surprise eggs and you have loved her from that moment on.  I wasn’t sure how you were going to handle being a big sister, but you as usual, exceeded my expectations.  You love to give her toys, hand me her hat, cover her with a blanket and help bathe her. You often say “awww, Skye-Skye is so cute!” and cheer her on with “Go Skye Skye, go! I’m so proud of you!” when she hits new milestones.    My absolute favorite moments are those of you making Skye laugh.  No one can send her into fits of giggles the way you can.  Skylar loyally follows you around the room trying her hardest to keep up with those chubby thighs of hers and all you have to do is look at her and her face breaks into a huge grin.  She absolutely adores you.  This is, no doubt, the beginning of a beautiful lifelong friendship between the two of you.


You started school in January and although mommy was really nervous for you, you stepped through the school doors with a backpack almost your size, turned to me and with a quivering lip and bravely said “bye bye mommy, I have so much fun, see you later!”  Your courage both breaks my heart and makes it swell with pride.   Though its hard for the control freak in me to let you out of my sphere of influence, you come home learning  new things and saying all sorts of funny sayings that never cease to amaze me. You are only away from me a few hours a week but I miss you like crazy when you are gone.  I can hardly wait to pick you up because you run squealing into my arms, shrieking “mommy, mommy, MOMMY!” like we hadn’t seen each other in days.  There is no better feeling in the world.


You are our beanpole at 37″ tall and a scant 26 lbs but you make up for it in personality.  You are still my spunky little girl, my little spitfire, my pint-sized firecracker. We clash at times, I think because we are so similar. We are fiery. Strong willed. Passionate. Because of this, we often are mired in a heated deadlock, neither of us willing to budge. Though frustrating to parent, I’m thankful God created you this way because you are also so enthusiastic, confident, fearless and have the ability to find joy in even the smallest things.  You literally bounce, run, dance or skip wherever you go, often singing  at the same time.  You can light up the room the moment you prance in.    You are bright, funny, sharp and outspoken.  You shock us all the time with your amazing memory and perception.  This year, you have really started making real friends.  You adore ALL of them.  You shriek and jump up and down whenever your friends come over, giving them the warmest, loudest welcomes.  You talk to Rylie on the phone every day. You say that your best friends are Chloe or Margot.  You often go on play dates in our neighborhood with Emi/Ethan and Christopher/Danny. You make friends wherever you go.  You are well loved by many.  I suspect this is why you had the honor of being asked to be a  flower girl a whopping THREE times in the last 2 months and, girl, you owned that role.  Getting all dressed up in a pretty new dress and reveling in all the attention was a dream come true… for both of us!11816312_10101155313169954_8219709755106812959_o


Some of my favorite memories with you are our private dance parties after Skylar goes to bed and its just me and you. You and me, we can dance and sing our hearts out. We look so silly as we “move it move it” but we don’t care. Your “go to” moves are the robot, twirling, shaking your booty and “the dip”. In the rare moments when Skylar is asleep and its just you and me, we’ve also started reading the children’s Bible together. Your favorite story is Noah’s Ark because of all the animals.  You ask lots of insightful questions about God and ask to pray for all your family and friends.   In these quiet times, reading God’s Word together, I am struck and sobered by the importance of my job as your mother to raise you to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior in a deep, personal way.  Sometimes I am scared that I am not doing an adequate job teaching and modeling God’s love to you.  I know that I will often fail you but know that I am trying my hardest.  In the times that I fall short, I am grateful that you are gracious and quick to forgive.  I am simultaneously humbled by the way you extend grace to me and reassured that God is already at work in that young tender heart of yours.
This year hasn’t been easy for your mommy but you continue to be my light. You make me laugh at all the right moments and you inspire me to press forward every day, giving my best for you and your sister.  You are my joy. My world. I love you so much! To the moon and back!


Happy 3rd Birthday, my little pumpkin!


All my love,



Read my letter to Zoey on her first birthday.

Read my letter to Zoey on her second birthday.


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1 Kim October 30, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Just gorgeous … love and hugs all the way from Queensland, Australia x o x

2 Amy October 31, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Such a sweet letter! Did you cry when you wrote it? I definitely cried while reading it!

3 Andrea November 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Tissues… I need tissues! Your words ooze with Joy. ok- not sure “ooze” is the right word but I’m distracted by a sudden onset of tears so ooze is all I have. Such beautiful heartfelt words. Thank you so much for sharing such sweet private thoughts.

4 Jamay November 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

I just cried as well… you are such an amazing mom Ilene!

5 Kendra November 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Your relationship with Zoey exemplifies the beauty behind a mother/daughter relationship. Priceless.

6 Airi November 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

This is so sweet. It’s going to be even sweeter when she reads it as she gets older!

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