I will spare you a medical update this week to instead write about my sweet Zoë, who is seven years old today.

Last night she snuggled into my lap on the couch and said, “Can you believe I’ve been alive for seven years?”

“Only seven years!” I said. “I can’t imagine a time you weren’t here. It seems like you’ve always been a part of our lives.” I leaned down and kissed the top of her head, and she tilted her face up, smiling that smile, clearly pleased.

Zoë has been counting down the days until her birthday for over a month, and in last week she’s been holding court at the dinner table: “Raise your hand if you’re excited about Zoë’s birthday.” (All of our hands go up. She smiles deliciously.) “Raise your hand if you love Zoë.” (All of our hands go up. More satisfied smiles.) “Raise your hand if you already got me a present.” (Some of our hands go up. She furrows her brow.) “Okay, raise your hand if you are going to get me a present.” (All of our hands go up again, and she giggles, full of glee.)

I remember when I was pregnant and Donny and I were trying to decide on a name for the baby kicking and spinning in my tummy. We couldn’t agree on anything, not until we landed on Zoë. And I’m so glad it’s the one we did land on because there couldn’t be a more perfect name for my daughter who, in all her spunk and sass and silliness and tenderness, seems to embody life itself.

So I’m happy to put my health stuff on the back burner for a couple of days to celebrate my daughter with cupcakes and dinner out, then a weekend full of balloons and cakes and gatherings of friends and family. I’m so grateful for her smiling face and gleeful spirit. Happy birthday, sweet Zoë!


  1. Oh I can almost breathe in her sevenness-is that even a word? There are so many times as a mom I’d like to hit pause or at least slow down time. I turned and caught my skinny almost 14-year-old lugging in the recycling bin today, after teasing me that he would not. I was overcome by his size and the time warp that’s been almost 14 years. Oh we are blessed. Maybe we should all keep that love of birthdays.

    • It’s amazing, isn’t it? I feel so cliched talking about how fast it’s all going, but it’s true. Whizzing by. I love the image of your fourteen-year-old lugging in the recycling bin.

  2. Aww, what a sweet family you have. Happy Birthday, Zoe, and Happy Mom-aversary, Kate! You’re doing a great job!!

  3. I adore this story. It feels like she’s always been there — I’m definitely going to use that!

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