This is Childhood: Nine

If you give her a ball of playdough she will return it a perfect rose.

If you give her a piece of chalk or a box of crayons she will make roses.

She will give you a few playdough roses for your window sill and you will soon have a mini bouquet.

She will imagine games for your 4 year old.

She will also imagine games for your 11 year old.

She will have her friends over one Saturday after not having anyone over for a while and will sit and wait and watch perched by the window like a cat.

She will cheer and jump for joy when her friends come 9 minutes early.

She will ask if her friends can come over again next Saturday.

She will forget her lunchbox in the car.

She will forget to close the car door when getting her lunchbox and your neighbor will knock on the door at 10:41 pm to let you know that your car door is open.

She will forget to pack her lunchbox that she gets from the car.

You will wonder if she really is forgetting or pretending.

She will not care if her pink laundry basket overflows.

She will tell you she has a surprise and open her lunchbox to show you that she ate all her lunch, every bit, which is a big deal since she rarely eats allllllllll her lunch. You will take a video of it and she will proudly open her lunchbox again. You will notice that everything in her lunchbox began with P – pretzels, pistachios, and pizza.

She will ask you daily if she can read at bedtime.

Even if you say no, she will still read.

You will buy her reading lights.

She will read with your 4 year old and your 11 year old and by herself.

You will go on and buy her different pairs of glasses, bright blue, glittery pink, but eventually she will wear the plain black ones from Lens Crafters because she’s used to them. You will notice her pink glasses match her pink laptop. You will miss her wearing her pink glittery glasses and may look into buying a pair for yourself.

She will go from losing her glasses, forgetting her glasses, to always being in glasses. You will remember the way she blinks when she takes her glasses off and shuffles downstairs for water after hours.

She will ask you for junk food, Oreos, jalapeno chips, Papa John’s pizza and more

She will go from wearing her bunny ears headband all the time to just a little.

She will read your manuscripts and give feedback.

She will study the art in your draft copies like it’s her job and give feedback. She will notice when there are 12 donuts and there should be 11.

Last year, she will have done third grade on Zoom from home with a three-year-old sister by her side. This year, she and the 4 year old are in-person school.

She will say no when you ask to braid her hair and instead opt for a ponytail. When you do braid her hair, you will have to tell her not ask her and then she’ll ask for two.

She will look a lot like this book character. You sent your editor a sample photo of her to be sent to Aaliya Jaleel for inspiration. You will think that is pretty neat.

She will peek over at your shoulder one day while you are blogging This is 4 and say “Hey! You should have a This is 9!” You will listen.

This is 9.

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