You Are Nine

July 1, 2018 at 11:00 am 3 comments

My Darling Daughter,

In the middle of writing this essay, I was interrupted by the sound of shuffling about in your room. You have inherited my inability to get to sleep at a decent hour. When I poked my head in to see what was up, you were sitting on the edge of your bed. You told me your brother had awakened, crying, and that’s when I noticed you had put one of your blankets on him. He was back to snoozing quietly.


After tucking you in again I reminded you that it was late and you only had about three hours left to be eight years old. You gave me a big, toothy smile and a hug, reaffirming for me what I realized while writing these words. In only a short nine years you have turned into an amazing little girl capable of great acts of compassion toward someone who drives you mad.

makeupYou are a supremely silly, fashionable and athletic big sister who is equally happy in the mall or on the soccer field. I see you wearing your fancy clothes and sporting dirty feet, and wonder which of those traits will become more dominant as you get older. This year you ran a 5K, joined a soccer club, and spent many days out in the backyard swinging from trees. You also got your ears pierced, frequently put color in your hair, and spent a lot of time smearing on various makeup items from a growing collection of powders, creams, and lip gloss.

Our disagreements are getting a little more intense, especially when I make you clean up that encampment you call a bedroom. I get the eye roll of exasperation when I tell you to change your clothes before we go to school. No, you cannot have a pug and that’s final, again.

This is a year of big changes for you, the most important being the move to a new school in September. We have had many late night conversations about how this will go down. You are not happy with having to move away from your friends, having to start over after four amazing years. I had the same experience between the 3rd and 4th grades and I can tell you this: that first recess will be the worst of it. Then it will get better, you will quickly make new friends, and all will be well.

Though change may be the theme this year, there still remain the constants in our relationship: sushi, reading, Dads and Daughters games, you rolling your eyes at me. Your brother is still your best friend and you cry when he is hurt, wiping your tears while quickly finding bandages and creams for his many scrapes. Too often, though, you have some level of responsibility for those scrapes because he still knows how to push your buttons.
My beautiful daughter, I see a growing strength in you that inspires me. You have brought me to tears watching you invest yourself in activities and succeeding despite your fears. I am proud of all you have done, all that you are.

Today we celebrate you, my Best Girl, for it is your 9th birthday. I love you for your brave and honest heart, your desire to help others, and for the love you show your family and friends.

Happy birthday to you, my Little Boo, my Darling Doodles, my Norah Grace.


Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Creative Conversations The Milestones We Don’t Expect

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nadene Good  |  July 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    What a beautiful relationship you have with your children, Hop Dad, keep growing with them. Nadene

  • 2. J Platt  |  July 3, 2018 at 6:59 pm


  • 3. FoF: That’s You in the Porchlight | Dad 2.0 Summit  |  July 6, 2018 at 6:49 am

    […] “My beautiful daughter, I see a growing strength in you that inspires me. You have brought me to tears watching you invest yourself in activities and succeeding despite your fears. I am proud of all you have done, all that you are.” – Hop Dad, You Are 9 […]


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