Dear Zianne (four years)

Dear Zianne,

I look at you and see myself at four years old. Light blonde hair, large vocabulary, very social, always twirling in a dress or reading a book.

The resemblance, both in looks and personality, is uncanny.

Our similarities drive me crazy yet stir deep sympathy and adoration in my heart.

I sigh with exasperation as I beg you to wear leggings rather than a sundress on a chilly fall day. But then I crack a smile, because I despised wearing pants throughout my youth. I don’t think I wore jeans until sixth grade. Every day after school, I would put on my fanciest dress and prance through the neighborhood pretending to be a princess, a teacher, or an orphan adopted into a rich family.

Now you are the one with constant outfit changes, running into the living room with a different ensemble every five minutes. Long dresses, short dresses, skirts over dresses, tutus galore. But never pants, unless they are worn under a dress, of course.

Your demeanor is so much like mine. I declared you an extravert when you were four months of age, and I was not wrong. You are highly social, confident, a lover of conversation. I told you the other day I admire your willingness to try out big words. You had just told me something was “educational,” although it came out sounding more like “vocational.” You tell me when something is “hilarious” or that you are “disappointed.” You are barely four, but sometimes you sound like a ten year-old.

I love the things we have in common, but I also want to celebrate the ways we are different.

You are sillier than me. I think you get it from your dad.

You love school like me, but you aren’t quite as studious. You rush through your tracing without precision and your letters fly all over the page. You would rather paint than write. I’ve never seen anyone who loves art as much as you.

You might be more outgoing than I was at your age. You are never bashful. Always assured. You know what you want and you seek out friendships. Sometimes you’ll even seek out friendships for me. At dinner, you’ll tell me, “I met a lady for you, mom. I think you should be friends with her.”

You are always eager to get out the house and explore public places – the gym, the library, a restaurant. I was more content to stay home as a child, but you want to go, go, go.

You are a beautiful mix of your dad and me, and yet unique and vibrant in your own right. It’s a joy to watch you grow and learn. I look forward to another of year of seeing you blossom. I think it’s time to surrender to the outfit changes and simply delight in watching you leap and dance and twirl your way through life.

Love you always,


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