Rolling into 10

RR is on the far side of nine and while she’s not quite staring double digits in the face, we’re marching ever closer. She’s a young nine. Of course, what do I know about nine year olds? She just seems younger. Plays with much younger kids, hasn’t picked up on the playdate sleepover lifestyle that other girls her age have embraced. I’m not in a hurry for her to grow up so if I’m still occasionally reading Green Eggs and Ham, I’m still going to read it, even with a fox, even in a box.

A couple of weeks ago she came home with a silver charm on a piece of pink yarn strung around her neck. She hasn’t fully grasped the concept of jewelry yet so I knew she hadn’t put it on that morning. No, in fact a boy at school had slipped it around her neck at recess. It’s a friendship necklace she told us. He found it and gave it to me.

Later that week we set up a playdate with the same young gent to go rollerskating. Now you’ll remember that this is the child who refuses to ride a bike. I had real questions about her capability on skates. And that was how we found ourselves looking straight in the face of determination as we tried on skates at the local secondhand shop (the only pair they had and they would fit, by god) and then practiced her new skill in the carpeted aisle.

The next stop was a piece of pavement where she and I went up and back until she could wobble toward me on her own. Debra hid behind a bush because watching RR flirt with physical harm is too much for her. And I don’t blame her. I spent all of the practicing and most of the playdate sure she would suffer grievous injury.

But she didn’t. She was slow, he was fast, they didn’t skate together so much as skate in the same room. But she announced to me halfway through that she was very good at this and would surely be an expert the next time we went. I’m not sure I agree, but her clear confidence made my heart swell with joy. I didn’t think she was going to get it. And she did. She totally got it. And she and her friend decided together to move the playdate to a park. Which they did, his blue necklace and charm just peeking out to match hers.

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