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A Letter to Zoey

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Kate’s Take

By: Kate Cayanni  |  April 18, 2024

My daughter turned seven this week. I’m surprised by the emotions that it has brought up in me.  Becoming a mother changed me in so many ways, and it’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve really been able to connect who I am now, with who I was before having Zoey. And she’s been there through the whole ride. To celebrate her and to work out the weepy feelings I’ve been feeling, I decided to write her a letter: 


You turned seven years old this week! This feels impossible to me, as time really does move so much faster than we can grasp it. I’ll remind you again that I’d like for you to stop growing, but we both know that’s not going to happen. I’m grateful that you’re still happy to jump in my lap and curl up for a cuddle, even though now your long legs drape off my side. I thought for your seventh birthday, I’d write you this letter to tell you how proud of you I am and to remind you (the future you someday) about being seven, and what that holds.  

You’ve been telling us lately that you will be an artist, spending hours with your colored pencils and coloring pages. You make every design a rainbow, using all of the colors that you can. Your clothes are like this too, bright and cheerful and loud. I hope that you always live in full color and that you don’t get the messages from life that say, ‘tone it down or keep it neutral.’ There is no part of you, at seven, that is beige. I can’t wait to see all that you create! The world needs as much creativity and art as it can get.

You are so curious! And now with all of the practice you’ve been putting in, you read everything. You read labels, road signs, news headlines, alongside your stories. Even when I seem exasperated by you, I hope you know that I love your questions. I love seeing you want to know more about so many things. Keep being curious. You will find yourself in life thinking you know it all, until something happens and you realize you knew nothing. This will happen more than once. I can’t make this make sense for you at seven, but I promise you will understand completely one day. Staying curious will save your life. And also, keep reading all the things  (except maybe the news headlines)!

Your energy is maybe most impressive. You hop happily around the house in full commitment to the character of cat, bunny, or puppy. You don’t step off of anything, you leap. You run, skip, roll, or tumble to where you are going, rarely walk. If it will hold your weight and has height, you climb it with ease. It’s kind of tiring just writing this, but please keep moving every day. Keep climbing, keep playing! It will keep you strong. It may sound crazy to you now, but having time to move every day is a struggle when you get bigger, and if it’s fun, then it won’t feel like work.

I recognize as I write this that I could be writing to my own seven-year-old self…maybe I am. As your mama, I want the best for you, and wish I could save you from some of the lessons I’ve learned, but most of all, I want you to keep this wild, colorful, curious seven year old girl with you into all of the next phases of your life because she is already wiser than you know.

All my Love,


April is National Letter writing month.  Each year, the write_on campaign issues a challenge to write 30 letters in 30 days and I participate (with varying degrees of success). Letter writing, for me, is a special way to send love to someone, to give yourself the quiet space to work something out (I don’t always send those letters), and to honor the dying craft of putting pen to paper and posting a letter in the mail. Just think about how warm it felt the last time someone sent a letter of meaning to you in the mail. If this moves you, I encourage you to put pen to paper and write a letter to an old friend, or someone who’s helped you along the way, or maybe even to your seven-year-old self. What would she be proud to hear?

Kate lives in San Rafael with her husband and kiddos, Zoey and Sam.  She enjoys handwritten letters, home baking projects and writing.  Through her business, Good Smart Funny, she offers life and leadership coaching to entrepreneurs, mothers and people leaders who are interested in leading an intentional life.
More from this issue:

A Letter to Zoey HERE >> 

Fostering Interconnection Through Therapy HERE >> 

SMMC Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Marin Foster Care Association HERE >> 

Staying Organized Amidst the Chaos HERE >> 

Take Heart! HERE >>