To Be Nine...


Little Lewie is 9 and a half years-old, to be exact.  He was born in August, so February is his half-year mark.   I'll be honest.  I didn't know what to expect as the mom of a nine year-old.  For one, he's more independent now.  Gone are the days of having to put on his shoes, hat, and gloves before going to school.  Gone are the days of having to buckle him into a car seat, strap him into a swing, or pick him up to get onto our trampoline.  Gone are the days of putting him in a shopping cart to give him rides around the grocery store or placing him on the car ride at the local carnival.

I get teary-eyed remembering Lewie's toddler days.  They were full of giggles, wonder, and excitement.  Lewie was the little boy that never stopped smiling (and never stopped talking about trains either).  But, do you know what?  I LOVE Lewie at this age, too.  Okay, so there are hints of him growing up (and entering the soon-to-be tween stage).  For one, he's become more interested in friends (and showing off).  He also does what he can to swindle his way out of homework and chores.  His classic response to my daily request is "Not now."  (He knows that if he puts me off long enough, I will get too tired to remind him and fall asleep on the couch.)

Still, for all the moments that he seems more grown up and more independent, he's still a little boy.  Here are the things I love about NINE.

1)  He still needs me. 
There are plenty of nine year-olds that take their own showers and pick out their own clothes, but when given the chance, Lewie still likes to take baths and prefers that I pick out his clothes for him.  In many ways, I'm not ready to relinquish all of the motherly responsibilities I've grown accustomed to throughout the years, and so I still take great pleasure in making him breakfast, packing his lunches, and picking out his snacks.  Thankfully, he doesn't mind me doing these things for him either.  I gladly tuck him in at night, sleep in his room when he's afraid, cuddle with him on cold snowy days, and pamper him when he's sick.  He told me one day: "Mommy, you're not just a mom and an English professor.  You're kind of like a doctor, too."

2)  He's playful.
This boy still loves playing hide-and-go-seek, tag, and catch me if you can.  Yes, he's better at it.  He runs faster and has lots more strength.  (He can easily hold me back if he doesn't want to get tickled.)  Still, this kid is playful and adores being chased.  His giggles (much like when he was a toddler) can still be heard throughout the house, and he's ready to play with us at a moment's notice (even if it means putting down his xbox for a while).

3) He's a boy.
Nine, thank goodness, is still the age of fantasy.  He's not thinking about girls and dating.  He's thinking about Star Wars, the Avengers, Minecraft, Roblox, and video games.  He LOVES to watch Star Wars and the Avengers movies with Daddy, and when we go for walks, he enjoys telling me about the latest video games he wants to create.   His characters have clever names and magical abilities.  They have swords, armor, guns, gems, potions, dynamite, and lasers.  I remind him that I don't like violence, and so to keep me happy, he always reminds me that his video games will not have any blood or gore.  "My characters are robots, Mommy.  They are not human."

Potty humor abounds, too.  There are plenty of fart and toilet jokes to go around, and somehow he's learned how to burp and fart on command.  Since my husband enjoys all of these things (at age 47), I suppose this is one area that will never go away.  Whether he's 9 or 50, he will stay a boy at heart forever.

4) He's still little.
At the end of the day, Lewie is still a little boy.  While his vocabulary is expanding every day, he and his friends still make mistakes.  They pronounce words wrong, they say the wrong words, or they make inexperienced guesses (all based on their own naivete and innocence).   For example, during a Cub Scout den meeting, we spoke about important numbers to have in case of emergencies.  When we talked about the number for Poison Control, the boys quickly asked what it meant.  Then one boy said he knew the answer:  "It's for when you get things like Poison Ivy."

On Friday this week, Lewie woke up hoping he would get a day off from school.  When I told him it wasn't snowing, he said, "Well, it might not be snowing, but it's frosty."  (He really meant to say "icy.")

5)  He's magic.
Every day is a new adventure with Lewie.  We tell jokes, then have deep, meaningful discussions.  We talk about Santa, then learn about historical figures like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr.  (By the way, his 2018 Santa request is to wake up knowing how to code and make video games--when I told him this was impossible, he stated, "Mommy, didn't you hear of something called Christmas magic?")  We jump on the trampoline, then take long hikes through the woods.  We play Chutes and Ladders, then games of strategy like Uno and checkers.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that nine is kind of a mixed bag.  There is evidence of Lewie being both a little kid and a big kid at the same time.  He's both innocent and wise; silly and serious; young and mature; cute and well, still cute. 

I know the "little kid" in him will continue to dissipate with each passing year, but for now, the little kid is still alive and well.  I cherish this age.  I've promised myself to relish and savor every moment of these next six months.


  1. He's a sweet 9.5 year old! Simon has an August birthday too so soon he'll be 7.5!

  2. I always like it when they do something that mixes being grown up with being a kid. Like when my oldest used a gauge to measure the static electricity he stirred up going down the slide :)


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