Tuesday, March 15, 2011


When I was growing up, Mom always said, "When you and Shannon were little, we'd tell him to close his eyes and go to sleep, and we'd tell you to close your mouth and go to sleep!" I'd always guffaw gamely, assuming it was just another exaggeration about how much I do, and always have, talked. Then one night, Chloe was in her bed, eyes closing, talking ninety to nothing. The only thing keeping her awake was her mouth. And suddenly I understood that Mom wasn't joking.

Chloe hates the idea of sleep almost as much as she loves talking. It's exhausting and also incredibly endearing. She's just so enthusiastic about. . . everything! And she wants to touch it all and pick it all up and talk about it and share it and sing to it and there's no time for sleep in a world this wonderful. I'm sorry I don't always have the attention span she needs. But on the whole, I'd say I've listened to more of her tales and ideas and made-up words in just five years than some parents will have the opportunity to listen to in an entire lifetime.

In some ways, she's such a girl! She insists on wearing dresses and skirts, whether her legs will be cold or not. She flops dramatically in front of the TV on Sundays, whining that "Football is SO BOOOORING!" And she is as committed to her babydolls and Barbies and Disney princesses as any girl I've ever known.

But she's no princess herself. She's not at all fragile, easily taking what life hands her and not complaining when things don't go her way. She's learned not to dwell on things she can't change, and figured out how to enjoy what's in front of her rather than wishing it were something better. Having a brother who refuses to bend on anything has certainly contributed to her flexibility. It's something I cherish, and I hope that one day she understands how easy she's made things for me in this regard.

Her confidence is shocking- she is so sure of herself, both physically and socially. Other kids are drawn to her because of it. I hope she never loses this "mysterious confidence" (as one of my favorite movies so aptly put it) as she reaches her teens. I want her to always be the first to jump in the pool, to always turn strangers into friends, to always sing at the top of her lungs. I really want her to always be the sweet, smart, beautiful little girl she is now, but I can already see the young woman she's on her way to becoming. And I love them both.

Happy birthday, baby girl!


Stacey Greenberg said...

Happy Birthday to Chloe!

frank said...

What a great post Stephanie. And, Happy Birthday Ms. Chloe!!

JenLF said...

Congrats, Steph and Chip, on a job well-done (so far, anyway). I can't believe she's five! Happy birthday, Chloe!

Stanfill said...

happy birthday chloe b.

Roy said...

Thoughtful and accurate description an extraordinary girl. I love you both...HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE BESS!!!