Happy 10th birthday to our ever inquisitive, always talking, piano playing, gymnastics loving, and heart of gold Zoelle Grace.
I've spent 10 years loving you! 10! Today you are double digits. I can hardly believe the girl whose doctor's once told me weren't sure what was going to happen with her heart (with the 3 holes as you like to remind me), is now 10. The girl who could talk in complete sentences at 9 months old, and read fluently at age 3. The one who would go on walks with me everyday and we would watch the scary snort (bulldozer) work on construction sites. The one who couldn't wait to do school with me at home. The one who cried to leave me on her first day of school, and cried on her last saying goodbye to her teacher. Now on the brink of teenage years, but still a little girl.
Sometimes I stare at you with that blonde hair that much to your chagrin just keeps getting curlier (which much to my chagrin you comb those curls out), and those blue eyes the color of the sky, with that sprinkling of freckles placed perfectly across your nose, and I'm in awe. You, perfect you, came from me. You are stunning! As beautiful as you are on the outside, your inside is where your heart of gold is. You care for those who are hurting. Your teachers all tell me if only they had 25 Zoelle's in their classroom, their classrooms would be full of polite, smart, well-behaved, and kind children. Maybe they tell this to all the parents, but I'll just go on believing you are special. Mainly because I know you really are.
You are smart! I'm amazed at everything you know, and how you have a constant thirst to know more. Reading is a love, and I can't seem to ever find a book you haven't read. Probably because most times I look at you, you are reading. When you aren't reading you are playing piano. Always working ahead in your piano books, practically teaching yourself your lessons from week to week. You love to sing and you have a beautiful crystal clear voice. Every once in awhile I catch you practicing violin. It's not that you don't like it, it's just that you took a few years of lessons before joining orchestra and so orchestra seems pretty easy right now. And if there is anything I know about you, it's that you like things that challenge you.
You are athletic! Your love of gymnastics has grown over the year as you entered into a new season of competitive gymnastics. To watch you pour your entire heart, and all your energy into gymnastics was a beautiful thing. I know it's hard sometimes having a younger sister who has a talent in something you love, but Z, I was proud of you! You got over your fears, and you worked amazingly hard at something that didn't come naturally to you.
Everything you do has to be done with your whole heart. It's where your intensity for life is used for good. I know you can't see it yet, but He really does have the best plans for you. I watched it play out 10 years ago when He provided the best doctor to give oxygen to your broken heart right after you were born. You are a complete miracle. Try telling me God won't use your intensity for good, and I will never believe it. He has great plans for you!
You gave me the name Mama, and these past 10 years watching you grow has been the greatest honor of my life. I love you more than you could possibly understand. I know both of us with our intense personalities challenge one another and get on each other's nerves, but I adore you ZoZo. I can already tell that when you are grown, you will be one of my closest friends.
My sweet girl please keep snuggling your mama from time to time. Keep laughing because you have the best laugh of anyone I know. Keep knowing your value comes not in what you accomplish, but who you are in Him.
As you go to sleep today on the eve of your 10th birthday, I'll do what I've done since you were a baby, play with your hair. I can picture you in my arms rocking you to sleep as a baby. I would take my hand and rub it over and over your almost non-existent hair. Over the years, your little hand would reach up, and play with mine. And now it's become our nightly ritual, you come to me and say, "Can I play with your hair before I go to sleep?" and I say, "Only if I can play with yours." and without fail it brings a smile to your face every single time. I hope you never stop asking to play with my hair, and that you never stop letting me play with yours.
I love you girlie! I've spent 10 years loving you, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life loving you. You are a delight and a joy to me every single day. I pray this birthday is a beautiful one, and that you live this next year realizing how very precious you are! Happy 10th birthday!