"One of my most satisfying moments as a mom is when I found Blue one day soaking in the bath with her eyes closed," Beyoncé told Harper's Bazaar in 2021, sharing a very rare detail about life behind the palace-like walls. "Using blends I created and taking time for herself to decompress and be at peace."
Pretty savvy for a child who hadn't yet reached double digits. Now 12 as of Jan. 8 and big sister to 6-year-old twins Rumi and Sir, Blue's life has always boasted a certain je ne sais quois, even before she was a Grammy- and VMA-winning picture of precocity, effortlessly doing Renaissance Tour choreography with her mom's dancers in front of 70,000 people.
Meanwhile, her dancing gig was supposed to be a one-off. But as seen in the documentary Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, Blue successfully convinced her wary mom that she was ready to hit the road.
And as benevolent eldest siblings do (Beyoncé is one too, after all), Blue has been amiably sharing the throne with her little sister and brother.
Because it was only a matter of time, the twins made their recording debut at 4, joining forces with Blue and their mom to supply the vocals for grandmother Tina Knowles' 2021 Facebook Watch series Talks With Mama Tina. "Thank you to my baby @beyonce and my beautiful grand babies," the matriarch shared at the time.
Tina, who this summer has been posting a sampling of fans' (positive) TikTok takes on Blue's dancing, has of course had a slew of reasons to be proud over the past decade—of her grandchildren and the daughter and son-in-law who are raising three little humans in their estimable image.
"It just gives you purpose," Beyoncé said of motherhood in 2012. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper that, after having Blue, "I realized why I was born and, more than anything, all of the things I want to pass onto my child. And the best way of doing that is not by preaching or telling her, but showing her by example."
"My 30s were about starting my family and my life becoming more than my career," Beyoncé reflected to Harper's Bazaar when she turned 40 in 2021. "I worked to heal generational trauma and turned my broken heart into art that would help move culture forward and hopefully live far beyond me. My 30s were about digging deeper."
As she entered her fifth decade, she continued, "My wish is for my 40s to be fun and full of freedom. I want to feel the same freedom I feel on stage every day of my life. I want to explore aspects of myself I haven't had time to discover and to enjoy my husband and my children. I want to travel without working. I want this next decade to be about celebration, joy, and giving and receiving love. I want to give all the love I have to the people who love me back."
"Time is all you have," the 54-year-old said. "That's the only thing we control, how you spend your time."
The Roc Nation mogul, who knows from busy, continued, "You're just all over the place and then you have to [ask yourself], 'What are you leaving your house for?' Every second that you spend, you're spending away from the development of these people that you brought here, that you love more than anything in the world. So what are you going to spend that time on? That changed a lot. That changed practically everything for me."
Still, even for the Carters, time is the currency that there never manages to be enough of, even when you know how you want to spend it.
"I think the most stressful thing for me is balancing work and life," Beyoncé told Elle toward the end of 2019. "Making sure I am present for my kids—dropping Blue off at school, taking Rumi and Sir to their activities, making time for date nights with my husband, and being home in time to have dinner with my family—all while running a company can be challenging. Juggling all of those roles can be stressful, but I think that's life for any working mom."
While that uncommon glimpse inside her private world sounds pretty darn relatable, credit to Beyoncé and Jay-Z for not bothering to pretend that their lives are actually just like everyone else's. From the backstage pics with Madonna, music video cameos and award show shout-outs to helicopter rides, yachts and breakdowns of size-6x designer style, Blue, Rumi and Sir are not having an average childhood.
And why should they be?
If you pay attention only to the material side of things (even the clothes alone), it could look as if Jay-Z's humorous 2012 prediction to Oprah Winfrey that Blue would turn out to be the "worst, spoiled little kid ever" had come to fruition. But it's not the kids' fault that their parents are worth upward of $1 billion.
More than anything, the rapper and business mogul born Shawn Carter and his bride of 15 years have strived to raise useful citizens of the world. And so far... so good.
"Everyone imagines they'll be a great dad," Jay-Z mused on Oprah's Master Class: Special Edition when he was a new father. "Until they're teenagers saying, 'Get away from me, Dad. You're embarrassing me!' Right? Everyone imagines that, right?"
More than a few of their fellow famous parents will assure Jay-Z that's exactly what's going to happen in a few years. But until then, the plan remains to shower the kids with enough love and support that a few fallow years of eye-rolls and slamming doors won't affect the overall dynamic.
Though he and Bey have so many irons in the investment fire there's seemingly something for everyone, the Carter children will be under no pressure to follow in either of their parents' vast footsteps, according to their dad.
His and Beyoncé's main purpose was to "make sure we provide a loving environment, be very attentive to who they want to be," he explained. "It's easy for us, as human beings, to want our children to do certain things, but we have no idea. We're just guides."
And whether they're flying private or commercial, the sky's the limit.
Scroll on for scenes from Blue, Rumi and Sir's family world:
(E! and Peacock are both members of the NBCUniversal family)
(Originally published Sept. 4, 2023, at 5 a.m. PT)