The paper plates I bought for Zoe’s birthday on Friday had a unicorn on them. With rainbows and ribbons and swirls all around.
When we pulled them out for the pizza, Zoe was awestruck. “That’s so beautiful!” she cried! “What’s that pony’s name?”
Now I was feeling kind of bad - because this was not actually a My Little Pony character plate, but just a dumb paper plate from the dollar store. I know that my love for my daughter is not lessened by a reasonable frugality, and that Twilight Sparkle or Rainbow Dash plates would get grease-stained, thrown away, and forgotten just as fast as any other cardboard designed to briefly hold food - but in that moment I felt cheap.
“I think it’s just a generic unicorn, Babe,” I apologized.
“Ooh! What a pretty name - Generic!” And with that Zoe grabbed a piece of pizza and danced off to rejoin her friends.
This is what I love best about Zoe. She is completely ready to take joy in the lamest unicorn plate, and able to listen with fresh ears to a word that DOES sound, but does not actually imply, pretty. Everything is new to her, and worthy of attention, and she sees magic where I don’t. I aspire to be as open to the world as she.
Thank you, Baby Girl, for being you. Happy Fifth Birthday!