This is NINE

She’s all elbows and knees and teeth, but you can see she’s a beauty. She’s fiercely independent and believes she’s got the world figured out but she also loves to be tucked in at night, and she can’t fall asleep without one last hug. Her bed is covered with stuffed animals, but she loves to sing along to Bruno Mars and the back of her closet door is plastered with Taylor Swift posters (no Justin Bieber though, thank God). She wants to walk home from school without me, but her face lights up at the end of the day when she sees me waiting for her in the school yard.

She’s a contradiction in the most charming way. She’s on the verge of shedding the little girl inside her in favor of the grown up woman she’s someday going to become. She has her own opinions (that she most definitely thinks you should hear) but still needs help figuring out the how and why of things. She’s moody. She’s goofy. She’s serious.She’s fun. She’s messy. She’s kind. She thinks a lot about what SHE wants, but she will often make time to help me or play with her little brother. She could burst into tears at any minute, but her beautiful smile is almost always quick to follow.

When she was a baby I couldn’t imagine her as a little girl. When she was a little girl I couldn’t imagine her as a big kid. And now as we move toward the scary teenage years I can’t imagine how she’ll be then. Ugh- boys, and mean girls, and makeup. Driving in cars. Boys. But you know.. these days I’m actually trying really hard NOT to imagine it at all. Because I don’t want her to grow up too fast. These past 9 years have already sped by at a lightening pace. I don’t know how we got from me carrying her on my hip to her being almost as tall as me (and wearing my shoes!!). I want to live in the moment now, and enjoy the girl that she is today. Maybe by focusing on her now, completely in the present, we can help her be strong enough to navigate the future without losing her sense of herself in all the ups and downs that life will bring. She’ll have the confidence to be who SHE is and not completely lose that little girl… because as a little girl she was uncomplicated and completely free to enjoy life to the fullest.

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