i hope i don’t forget:
how you omitted the a, and called those colored ovals of helium “bloons”.
how you put your ear on my stomach and told me that your brother loves our family.
how you thought the sinks at my work got smaller, but really you grew.
how you demonstrated the way you want your back to be rubbed on my arm before bed.
how you fearlessly knocked on the neighbors’ door to visit them and their cats.
how you went to your first dad concert and danced the whole time.
how you slept in your underwear on summer nights.
how you believed how special you are when we gave you your first bike.
how you started listening to podcasts about science while you colored, bathed, or puzzled.
how you probably kept Caribou in business from all the strawberry smoothies you drank.
how you sat so still at your dentist appointments, with your giant sunglasses and tiny mouth open wide.
how you whispered to me that you were “a little shy of all the people” at the Taylor Swift concert, but that you were excited to be there with me.
how you answered the Trivial Pursuit questions we made up for you with so much confidence and correctness.
how you absorbed so much of the worlds around you and asked me if i knew that God was both a father and a mother.
how we pretended the parking lot lines were balance beams when we accidentally showed up at the grocery store thirty minutes before it opened.
how you would tell me “i love to be your kid” when i would say “i love to be your mom”.
i don’t want to forget,
but i know these are moments you won’t remember.
my prayer is that all this quality time with your tiny soul will build amazing muscle memory for both of us,
that you’ll know how strong our love is for you,
because it was built into your character before you could ever even name it or appreciate it.
happy 4th birthday, zadie grace.