Yesterday afternoon, I walked into the classroom where Chloe was finishing up Girl Scouts without her noticing me. Amidst the chaos of a dozen first grade girls, I found my daughter. She was wearing a crazy sweater that reached to the floor and was not unlike Joseph's coat of many colors. She was sitting at a table drawing something with great concentration and I just stood there watching her for a while.
Suddenly, she popped up from the table, put the papers she had been working on into a big, funny-looking purse and walked over to another girl sitting at a toy cash register. She then dug out the papers, handed them over and in a perfect Cockney accent said, "I got you some money, may I please have some food now?"
I had to smile (I mean, wouldn't you?). This is Chloe. At home, her personality sometimes gets lost in the middle. There is too much competition for attention between her and her sisters Chloe is uber sensitive, and sometimes spends her entire afternoon crying over the fact that Bria looked at her wrong or Sophia ruined her drawing. And sometimes, she just disappears into her room and her art, like a good middle child.
But amongst her peers, Chloe shines. She is the social butterfly--everyone's best friend. When she turned six years old, I told her she could invite 6 friends to her birthday party. We had a hard time narrowing down her list, but we managed. I made the invitations--SIX invitations--and sent them off to school with her. And on the day of the party not six, but TWELVE little girls showed up. All with gifts and everything. I'm still not sure how she pulled that one off, but there it is. Chloe.
At parent/teacher conferences last week, her teacher said that she counts on her to help all the other kids feel happy. Chloe is always happy at school, she said. In fact, the only time she ever caught even a glimmer of sadness was when another little girl wasn't going to be able to come to Chloe's 7th birthday party last month.
When Chloe wants to learn something, she dives in with her whole entire soul. She is focused. She has astounded her piano teacher countless times, because she'll learn a difficult piece in one week, while ignoring the easier piece she doesn't like much. She and Bria have both been really into jumping rope lately, and she spends hours out on our deck practicing, hurrying to do homework and piano so she can go out. And she'll stay out until after the sun goes down if I let her! (And I did, last Friday.)
Watching her live her life always makes me happy.
When I grow up, I want to be just like Chloe.