3 min read

Turning 9 Years Old

The annual writing about the past year for my daughter.
She is quite determined to discover the real truth and verify that I know what I am talking about.
Turning 8 Years Old

Another year has disappeared and I find myself sitting down to write another reflection of Kylie when it feels like I had just finished writing last year’s. Before I sit down to write, I always re-read what I wrote last year and a quick read of the previous years as well. The common thread with them all is how each year builds off the last, small improvements with something she has been working on. The past year has felt like a giant leap, not a step up.

Throughout the year, Kylie’s curiosity has started to grow and she’s becoming quite insightful about the world around her. She started to explore more, read about different topics, and watched different kinds of videos on YouTube. She took part in art camps hosted at the Kelowna Art Gallery, a girls-only go kart camp at the Okanagan College, cooking camp, swimming, and is in her second year of dance. She is much more aware of her surroundings and picks up on the nuances of the world. She is quite quick to spot the iPhone X when walking around, for example, much like other kids would learn about the differences in car models.

Of course, being a kid, she is still learning. Sometimes, she’ll ask me for answers to questions, but more and more, she’s becoming more proficient at looking things up online. Before school, she’s not asking me about what the weather is going to be like today, she’s asking Siri. When I say I’m not sure if a store is open, she’ll pop over to Google and look it up. With people, she’s still prone to misread or misunderstand what they are doing, but that’s fine. She’s learning much more quickly than I likely did at her age.

She just gets it.

Her ways of expressing herself became alive this past year. She started exploring with hair chalk and doing her own hair last year, but now she’s practicing different styles based on what she’s seeing online, playing with makeup a bit on the weekend, and much more picky with clothing. Taking her out shopping for clothing or accessories is quickly turning from me suggesting things that she would like and her agreeing to instead being told, “It isn’t my style,” or, “that’s kind of ugly.” It’s a humbling moment as a dad, and if this is what pre-teens are like, I’m not sure I’m ready for it.

The YouTube videos she’s leaning towards now are still about people sharing their lifestyles regularly, but it’s less about the family life and more about what others are doing to become better, more successful, and watching kids around her age perform in different skits. At first, I was uneasy with this transition, but as the year progressed, Kylie started talking more about setting up her own website, making things to sell online, and make money. She talks about the jobs she wants to do as a teenager, not as an adult. Her entrepreneurial spirit is shining through and she’s ready to go.

I’m not ready for her to grow up. Most parents aren’t, but I only have one baby girl to watch grow. The lessons I learn from our daily interactions at this stage can’t be used to improve my parenting of the next kid, nor can I hold onto the earlier stages of development for a few years more.

This is it. [1]

As much as I’m not ready for her to grow up, I’m not going to stop her either. Her Christmas and birthday presents this year had a common theme of feeding into her urge to do more. A unicorn craft kit, JoJo Siwa bow making kit, a book to start her own Etsy shop, and other things to help promote her inner rebel and entrepreneurial spirit. I want her to explore as much as she possibly can to see where her curiosity and passions lead her. And while she’s actively thinking about what she can do for herself, she still fosters a big heart. During Christmas morning at my parents, her energy was focused more on what others were opening and didn’t want to slow things down by her looking at what she received. The first gift of the day to be opened, in her opinion, was the biggest gift for my parents that we picked out. She was more excited to see their reaction to what we bought them than anything she received.[2]

I feel like she’s being fed big dreams by the BFG on a nightly basis that’s driving her to explore more and more. The next year will be as, if not more, exciting than this past year, full of more (scary) changes. It will definitely be a fun year for the both of us to see where she goes from here with her young life.

Happy 9th birthday, Kylie.

  1. Quick aside, I don’t think I want another child at this point. Famous last words, I’m sure. ↩︎

  2. A Euphy robotic vacuum cleaner, which is really impressive
    -- ↩︎

Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.
BFG, by Roald Dahl

Kylie’s Favourites 2018:

Song: Alessia Cara – Growing Pains

Show: Fuller House or Colleen Ballinger on YouTube

Book: Dork Diaries

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