Letter to my daughter on her 9th birthday

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LENA! You are 9! How cool is that?! How lucky are we that we’ve got to live with you for the past 9 years?! As is my tradition I am marking this occasion with this letter to you so we remember what you are like right now as you turn 9…

Letter to my daughter on her 9th birthday

What happened in your 8th year?

We’ve had a great year with you as 8. Its been a great age for you, you’ve been loads of fun and no significant moods or dramas.

The year has been filled with day trips like to Gibside and Wallington Hall National Trusts, Northumberlandia and lots of other places where we could take Gizmo with us (who turned 1 this year).

I think you’ll partly remember this year as the year of Barbie! Whilst you’ve never wanted to play with Barbies, like most people you loved the movie and Margot Robbie in particular. Obviously you identified with Weird Barbie the most.

You might remember getting a new car this year. We had to say goodbye to the silver Kia E-Niro (electric car) as its lease was up. We bought a grey Ford Mondeo instead and are praying that lasts us a long long time.

We got you new MiYoSmart glasses this year in an attempt to slow down your miyopia. The last appointment at the 6 month mark there had been no change so fingers crossed it works (as it costs a fortune!). You made me buy you black glasses with yellow on the inside (your favourite colour). I regret this slightly as the yellow shines on your face like a buttercup and you always have a yellow tinge!

Sadly we didn’t get to any big festivals this year as we had a few big holidays instead. We enjoyed Glasthomebury as we always do. We also went to the Great British Tribute Fest just you and I and we had a great time. You made me get you slushies and you were high-fiving everyone, it was super cute. We also went to a winter light trail called Northern Lights at Leazes Park, Newcastle in December with friends which was fun. You see the joy in everything and I love that about you!

We got several days with snow whilst you were 8, including enough in December to build a huge snowman and go sledging. You and I went sledging together and had SO much fun. You attempted the biggest slope straight away and had a mini heart attack at how fast it was which made us both laugh hard. Then we went down together, went over a bump and I hit my back and had a bruise for days. We came home and had hot chocolates and the boys realised they really missed out by not coming. I hope we always remember that perfect December day forever.

School aged 8

You are plodding along nicely at school. Half of being 8 was in year 3 and half in year 4. You still struggle with your handwriting but you teachers tell me its getting better. Your attendance has been better since the letter I wrote on your 8th birthday.

You don’t love school and would always rather stay home with us but mostly you are happy to go and have fun with friends. You just aren’t very academic and just prefer the socialising part of it.

The teacher’s strikes continued this year and you got a day off for the King’s Coronation.

In January you started swimming with the school for the first time. You are enjoying it as you are one of the few kids allowed in the big pool due to your swimming skills whilst most of the children in your class are in the smaller kids pool.

Last term you were learning about rocks and talked about rocks for weeks. You were so into them when you asked Daddy a question about them and he didn’t know you said ‘Daddy, you are an idiot about rocks’ which had me in stitches laughing.

You got into ‘library club’ at school (there are limited spaces for after school clubs) and have been enjoying going to that after school once a week and have made new friends there.

Holidays aged 8

Your 8th year was certainly the year for big bucket list once in a lifetime holidays. We spent 2 weeks in Orlando, Florida in July/August and then spent 3.5 days in Iceland in November. Both were epic.

Florida was living in a villa with your cousins and visiting theme parks and water parks every day which you loved. You went on your first big rollercoaster (Tron) with zero hesitation or fear and you loved it!

Surprisingly though, you said your favourite holiday was Iceland and said you would like to live there as an adult. You thought their environmentalism was better and loved all the cool things you saw in nature and being outdoors. You saw the Northern Lights, a volcanic crater, a geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and got to swim in two thermal outdoor pools (Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon). Your favourite part of the Iceland trip was when two over eager Icelandic horses made you the middle of their horse sandwich as they were trying to get treats from you. I will treasure that video with your little giggle forever.

Iceland family holiday - Blue Lagoon with kids

On the way back from Iceland you got to visit Brighton for the first time too.

Incredible that I was doing this aged 40 and you were experiencing these holidays at just age 8!

We also did a couple of one night stays at Runa Farm at Barnard Castle (you loved the ponies on the farm) and Newton Hall in Northumberland with Granma and Grandad. We visitited Lillidorei and had the best day there climbing and sliding together.

Lilidorei at Christmas - reindeer photo prop where you can put your face in a reindeer statue and take a photo.

Oh and for your final trip aged 8 we did a 3 night stay in London where we went to see the Stranger Things: The First Shadow and went to see Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. Both were incredible! We also visited London Zoo and you got to go through a walkthrough with monkeys and you got so close a zoo keeper had to tell you to step back!

What are you like right now?

You are just the best right now. I keep thinking you can’t possibly get any better but you do.

You make me smile and laugh every day. We are both pretty obsessed with each other. The older you get the more we enjoy our one on one time and the more we have in common.

You are creative and have a big imagination. You like making stories up and see images in the clouds and enjoy relaying your (frankly unhinged) dreams to us.

You are kind and look out for others. You are perceptive and notice how other people are feeling.

You have a fantastic sense of humour and enjoy telling jokes and playing pranks on people.

You are not a saver and will spend your pocket money on anything you see immediately. The idea of waiting for something is unthinkable to you.

You still hate relaxing and prefer to be active and ideally outdoors most the time.

You have little desire to be ‘pretty’ or even brush your hair or wash. You don’t care if your socks or clothes match and will just wear whatever is at the top of a drawer. You always look adorably scruffy and I’ve given up fighting it, its a futile game.

You mostly don’t eat meat. Your favourite food is margherita pizza and macaroni cheese.

You aren’t a big eater and will pick at food little and often. If we let you, you’d eat sugar all day. You are still a total chocaholic.

You are VERY messy and do not even see mess. Your room always looks like a rubbish tip. You have no concept of time and it’s always a big rush to get you to school on time each day as you get distracted constantly and have to be reminded to focus on what you are doing repeatedly.

You have this incredible zest for life and joie de vivre that is infectious to be around. People can’t help fall in love with you. You have such a big personality and are just a joy to be around. I can’t get enough of you!

What do you love right now?

You love people, children or adults, any age you just love to be with people and will chat with anyone about anything. You are very extroverted but will very occasionally get a little nervous or shy.

You love music and when you like a song you’ll listen to it on repeat over and over (just like I do). You have recently discovered Taylor Swift and have become a ‘Swiftie’ and are currently listening to Blank Space on repeat.

As always you love animals, nature and the environment. You love dressing up as animals/creatures and pretending to be them – which is always a battle when it comes to school dress down days. You especially love your dog Gizmo who you play with and cuddle constantly.

You love to stay up late and will employ any creative excuse as to why bedtime should be later. As I write this its 9.40pm and you are trying to climb a ladder as I tell you yet again to go back to bed.

You enjoy playing computer games and playing on your Ipad and Nintendo Switch. Currently a favourite of yours is playing Fortnight with your Daddy and brother. You still play Roblox a lot too.

You enjoy arts and crafts and are constantly constructing things out of the recycling rubbish. You have ideas about things and then like to think up wild and wonderful ideas about how you will bring them to life (often leaving a trail of devastation in your wake).

You are really enjoying reading at the moment and have gotten so good. You got a Kindle for Christmas and have been enjoying reading every night. You recently read the Nate comic series. Today you read 3 chapters of the Magician’s Nephew by C.S.Lewis which is a Chronicles of Narnia prequel. I love that you can read and enjoy books like this now.

You like to sign to me that you love me and do ‘belly to belly’ cuddles where we breathe deeply for a couple of breathes together and both of us feel super relaxed afterwards. I’ll be sad when you grow too old to do this as its the calmest I ever feel!

You are finally old enough to watch Neighbours with me daily which is a delight. You love to hate Paul Robinson!

You are not old enough to watch Stranger Things, however we let you watch 2 years before we let your brother watch. You see we really wanted to go see the Stranger Things prequel play in London and we knew you’d be gutted if we left you out so we let you watch it ahead of us seeing the play. You didn’t get scared at all and have a big crush on Sadie Sink, so much so that you told us you were a lesbian and wanted to marry her so we will see how that plays out in time I guess.

What’s on your birthday with list for your 9th birthday?

Initially you asked if you could pet a lion or a wolf but for obvious reasons those were wishes we could not grant.

You are big into Squishmallows at the moment so there are lots of those on the list.

You have asked for a Biscoff cake, a realistic dog costume, horse riding session, the full set of Roald Dahl books and Taylor Swift Eras ticket. Some of these requests will be easier than others!

You will also be getting some National Geographic science sets and rock/fossil collections and some new clothes, like a bomber jacket with a dragon on the back.

Milestones this past year

There were no major achievement milestones this year to note – you can already do most of the big things you needed to learn like swimming and riding a bike.

You did get into Eurovision for the first time – the whole family sang Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha for weeks. I can’t wait to watch it with you again this year.

You also completed your first Mini Great North Run dressed as ‘spidergirl’ and crushed it. I loved watching you run, high-fiving everyone you went past.

There were a few negative milestones: You caught COVID for the 2nd time (officially, I think you’ve probably had it 3 times though). You started with hayfever this spring and got and lost your first veruccas (treating those will probably being a formative memory as you screamed at us, gah).

A kind of neutral milestone was your first time at school without Arlo as he moved up to secondary school in September. You found it strange at first but are used to it now.

Wishes for 9

I just hope this year goes as well as last year did. I’ve seen some minor mood swings creeping in lately so I’m fearful of those tween times I know are on the horizon from my experience with your bigger brother.

I’d like to see you learn a sport or instrument in some extra curricular activities. We’ve just started climbing club and you loved it and are keen to continue so we’ll see how that goes.

You still bed share and will 9 be the year you outgrow it? Time will tell! I’d love for you to at least stop sleeping with the big light and fan on, its costing us a fortune.

So all in all, a great year for us all. Every single day I’m grateful for you and can’t believe my luck that I happened to create one of the best humans on the planet and I get to be with you every day, watching you grow and become even more awesome every year. The world is better for having you in it, our family is better for having you in it and my life is immeasurably better for having you in it. thank you for loving me the way that you do and for being who you are. My baby. Forever and always. Love you infinitely. Happy 9th birthday.

If you liked this post here are the previous birthday letters:

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