I've said this before, but your position in the family cracks me up. You want so much to be like your older siblings and their friends. To watch you try and mimic their actions, dance moves, language, and play brings way too much joy to our lives.
You have loved "Molly, the American Girl" for a couple years now. I don't think a day goes by that you don't ask to watch the tap dance scene from the movie. One of your favorite parts in the movie is when her father gives her a locket right before he leaves for the war. For the past year, I noticed you making make-shift lockets out of chip clips, hair clips, or paper clips. Once when we were at Mech's, you borrowed one of Kellan's necklace's and clipped a hair claw to it and finally knew you had "found the one." I asked why you liked this necklace so much and you told me that you like how it sounded when Molly opened the locket and clicked it shut. I've looked for a locket for you for some time.
For your fourth birthday, your wish came true. A real locket.
You told me that you wanted to put a picture of you and me on one side and you and Papa on the other side.
I'm so glad I captured your face when opening the locket. I think we enjoyed it more than you. Our faces hurt from smiling in anticipation of you opening the gift.
You and I went out for your Birthday breakfast. Like your siblings, you chose McDonalds. You weren't very talkative, but I enjoyed sitting with you and watching you enjoy your meal.
This has been a busy school year for you. You go to Montessori school with Rose and are enrolled in your first year of Classical Conversations with the rest of the family. I cannot believe how quickly your age learns. For the first five weeks, you cried at having to give your presentation in front of the whole class. On week six, we turned the corner. We would practice at home and you would have it down perfect, but when class rolled around...tears. I told you that you could pick one of my necklaces to wear for the day after you did your presentation. BAM! That is all it took. You do a great job knowing all your states and capitals, the timeline, and all other memory work. You are very proud. My favorite history song you sing goes "In 1776, the Continental Congress published the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia announcing the colonists intent to form a new nation." You sing it with soul and put your hand above your head shaking it to the rhythm. Each family takes turn giving a family presentation each year. As the whole family took turns introducing themselves, I was not expecting you to say anything, but when your turn to have the microphone came you said, "Hi! I'm Zellie and I like pie." ??????Pie??????
THIS is one inanimate object I definitely want to remember from your childhood. On our way back from your birthday breakfast, I asked if you wanted to go to a few garage sales. When we arrived at this particular sale, I said you could pick one item of your choice. Continuing along with your love of jewelry, I knew you wore rubber bands to mimic a watch so when I saw you spot the Hello Kitty watch, I knew it was all over. Your eyes dilated and it was precious how you looked at me. "Would you like this for your birthday?" "Oh, Please!" Sure. I gave the lady enjoying you as much as I was a quarter and we headed home. You are rarely seen without your watch either worn on your arm or your ankle. Not sure why the ankle, but it is often worn there.
We went to a family wedding in Kansas City this summer and I don't want to forget how you danced the night away. Now, for most children this is not uncommon, but you are our shy child. Very shy. We saw you dancing with everyone from people we knew to people we didn't know. You brought your best moves which is the hand on hip and side to side motion with your feet some what resembling a Irish Step Dancer. Painfully cute. I'm not quite sure why you let loose this particular evening, but it was precious to watch.
I say often to John, "Imagine how their little childhood minds view this." You know, when you are a child everything is so much grander than an adults perspective. After a wild night of dancing, we returned to the hotel around 9:00 PM and said, "Who wants to swim?" They couldn't believe it. Swimming at Night! We let them swim until the pool closed at 11:00 PM. So very fun. You were all having the time of your life.
This hat is another Molly move. On the front cover of her book, Molly goes camping and wears a hat. You wear this often in honor of Molly.
After swimming, everyone was starving so pizza was ordered. By the time it arrived at the hotel, it was midnight. Many of our cousins and relatives gathered in a party room to eat pizza. I know you all couldn't believe it. Swimming and Pizza at midnight. You will never know until you are a parent how much we enjoyed watching our children have a wonderful time. It brings such joy to a parent's heart.
You learned this habit from Rose. Rose is our neat and tidy child. Her dresser drawers are always folded nicely, she gets dressed every morning with everything matching and a matching hair accessory placed perfectly in her brushed hair. She taught you how to fold and organize your clothes. THIS was the first time you did it by yourself. I noticed you weren't playing with your siblings that particular morning and went back to check on you. You were so proud.
What do I dream for you? I dream a great many things. I know you love your sisters and I am glad. They are good examples,but I want you to know you are perfect the way you are. It cracks me up that at your little age you enjoy going to musicals, ballets, and symphonies. Anything the older ones do, you do too. I enjoy spending time with you and LOVE that you ALWAYS want to go on errands no matter where the errand is to. I can count on you to go with me to the grocery store or the hardware store.
This was your first summer to participate in Summer with the Saints.
I wish somehow I could capture your range of facial expressions. D.R.A.M.A. Any story told is expressed with such facial contortion that you usually ask me "Why are you laughing?" I ask you everyday (seriously) "Well, who did you eat snack with at Montessori?" You fall for it every day because you go into a long repertoire of how and why snack evolved with the chosen person for the day. Very detailed with much thought. Oh, to be four again and snack was that important.
You know we couldn't love you more.