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  • Kristen Kehoe

Nearly Nine

My darling Livvy-Love, you're almost nine. Yes, we've been celebrating for a few days now, and yes, you've been getting nine gummy bears for desert for a while now, but I don't think that number truly hit me until a moment ago when you said "Love you. See you in the morning when I'm nine," and I realized, wow, my girl is growing-up.

There are things I want you to remember about being eight, my darling girl, things I think will be important for you to look back on and realize just how resilient, how motivated and happy, you are. For instance, today was the only day in your eighth year that you attended a full, in-person school day. At eight, rather than recess, you had zoom breaks; rather than in person, you were online; rather than parties, we had sidewalk parades. You didn't organize a desk, your organized a Google folder. You didn't play your piano syllabus to an auditorium, but to a zoom screen. And you didn't quit. Ever.

In your eighth year, Liv, you learned perseverance and patience; you learned how to adapt, and how to listen. You learned how to find comfort in the characters on a page, and make the most of those tennis practices--even outside in December. Most importantly, in your eighth year you learned that being happy was a state of mind and being. That even when every day looks like it's going to be the same, it doesn't have to be. It's a truly beautiful thing, watching you live.

You, my darling girl, are magical. You are funny and clever, a wicked trash talker in UNO and Cribbage (even if your trash-talking is unwarranted. See: getting skunked by your grandfather), and your imagination is beyond my comprehension. You've found the love of reading and the comfort in familiar characters, and you are always so ready to meet new people and make them your friends. You love big-band and music, writing songs and singing. You love skiing so long as it is NOT your mother and father taking you...we understand, and we're sorry for our lack of patience:/ You love lip-gloss and dresses, video games and make-believe, and every day I spend with you I am more and more certain that you are exactly the kind of person the world needs right now.

I love you, my nearly-nine-year-old, even when you're scowling at me because I'm forcing you to let me blow-dry your hair. You took a wacky eight and made it amazing. I can't wait to see what you do with nine.

Love, Mommy

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