nine and a half

It’s funny to watch your sister watch you.  I try to get a photo of your new milestone, this extra half year, so that I can see how you wore it and remember these days.  You dove towards the cake you just finished icing and she immediately followed suit, her eyes never leaving your face or your lead.
Nine suits you, for sure.  I’d love to freeze you at this age for a bit longer because I’m enjoying it so much.  You attack new projects with enthusiasm and you are starting to find the writing voice that you like and so you are constantly reading your work to us.  When you are not writing you are reading, nose in book after book after book.  Sometimes I drag you out of them to run errands with me.  I love having you along;  I love talking to you in the car.  We giggle and chat and the afternoon flies by.  You still grab my hand in the parking lot, and I’m so grateful for that.  You often leave your room a frenzied mess of half started projects, but you’ll unload the dishwasher or gather up the trash without being asked – just because you notice that it needs to be done.
I’m hoping that this last half-year journey to ten goes by slowly, and that we have long, lazy spring and summer days to enjoy nine a bit more.  I have so many friends with little, little ones and I want to say “snap, and they are ten”, but I don’t want to say it because it hurts a little, and it’s a little misleading.  Snap, and they are ten, but oh, how those years in between are so sweet, and so full, never rushed.  Snap, and you are you, right now, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, not for three or four or five.  Just you, at nine and a half, with your mouth perched above mounds of toasted marshmallow, the only cake that has ever defeated you, my sweets loving, sweet, sweet girl.
Happy half birthday.

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