Zoe wore this dress all day Thursday. When getting ready for bed, she carefully hung it back up in her closet so she could reach for it first thing Friday morning.

“Because I like it! Because iss the most bootiful dwess in the wuld! Because I look bootiful in it!”

Definitely not lacking in self esteem, this one.

She has a confidence at 4 that I pray she still has at 14, 24, 34, and on. I don’t have to tell her she’s awesome. She already knows. Not in a conceited, stuck up kind of way, but in a “Well of course I am. Because I love you!” kind of way.

Her charisma isn’t limited to her physical appearance, but damn, she is a beauty, all long and lean, bouncy curls, and pretty little face. Everyone says she looks like me, but I have a hard time believing I was ever that cute, and I have a feeling she will definitely outrank me in the looks department as she grows.


My mind quickly flashes back to my childhood bedroom, where I stand on the mustard yellow carpet in front of my white, wooden dresser, the one with the red knobs. Out of one of the small top drawers I pull a tiny, blue and white gingham bikini, fingering it’s eyelet trim. It’s a triangle top, the kind that internetters today would claim is scandalizing and sexualizing our little girls. But this was the 80s, when people had better things to do than worry about that stuff, like drive their children around without seat belts and traumatize them with The Dark Crystal.

The bikini was a gift from my aunt. I never wore it. It sat crumpled up in my dresser as years passed, a reminder of the insecurity and self scrutiny I felt, even as a young girl, when let’s face it, I probably was pretty average size.


Zoe spins and twirls in her dress, stops to hop on her scooter and ride in a circle around the living room, then runs out to join her sisters on the trampoline, her favorite dress billowing behind her. She has it right now. And I have to try my hardest to help her to never let it go.


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  1. Oh I love her spirit and her confidence. I have always wanted “it” but I was able to fake it a lot of my life. There is such a special spirit with people who just naturally exude that brightness 🙂

  2. I loved this picture when I first saw it- so sweet. I love her confidence. In the boys I have the same hopes- I fear that sometimes the challenges I put in front of them (out of mere circumstance, not because I am forcing anything on them) is a bit too much. But I see them grow.

  3. So cute. I hope she stays that way! My oldest has always been fiery and confident, but I’ve seen it evaporate a bit in the past year and it kills me.

    I will probably now have a Dark Crystal dream/nightmare tonight.

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