Zooey update: five years

My youngest turns five today.

Zooey, we’re full-on into that tug-o-war over getting bigger and staying baby… It’s not even day on, day off; it’s sometimes in five minute intervals.

But I don’t begrudge you that; it’s been a year of fading boundaries, loose definitions, lost assumptions. Out of everyone, this year might have done you best. You spent 12 months hanging out with your favorite people in the world – during some periods, exclusively – soaking in homemade music, homemade crafts, homemade play, trying things that even the most energetic, enthusiastic ganenet could not have provided you.

What I really saw come to light within you: your ability to play, on your own, for lengths of time. You spent days in total self-quarantine, cut off from your siblings, and never really complained about boredom – or begged for screens.

Give you a piece of paper, it becomes a teacher’s lesson plan; give you a computer mouse and a crayon, you operate a supermarket; give you a chair, you’re on a train somewhere.

Then, there’s all that absorbing the world’s insanity with your play – temperature gun and all.

It wasn’t all global pandemic firsts; you also got your first snow!

On top of the corona year benefits… your bonding with Nettles (all your siblings, yes, but) has solidified into a new chapter of sister-sisterness. Like puzzle pieces, you fit into each others’ personalities. You fit into each others’ clothes. You enter partnerships, you play for hours in whatever land you both reach into. You fit each other, I hope it’s forever.

I suppose, whatever the instigator – corona, life – this year has fleshed out who you are to us; you’ve stepped on to center stage and have begun to introduce us to core Zooey. Your imagination, your playfulness, your drama. Your sweetness and your generosity. Your confidence, your assertiveness. Your thoughtful curiosity.

Your zooeyness.

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