Nine, for the Last Time

This little girl turned nine while we were in Mexico last week, surrounded by family plus a chorus of nice waiters who then got attack "abrazos por todos."

This little boy turned nine at a bouncy house place near his home, surrounded by family and friends. We sang him "happy birthday" for the rest of the week by his request.

This little girl turned nine in Cambodia, with just her mother and a chorus of clacking crabs on the dark beach nearby.

And this mother is wistful about her last year of having a little kid. I was reflective during my entire ninth year, mulling over the gravity of transitioning from single to double digits, and wonder if Mali feels the same way.

And I think we were able to give all three of our kids happy and memorable ninth birthdays. The mostly atrophied but still functioning, finger-wagging Catholic part of me hopes they feel as lucky to have such fun celebrations as I feel to be their mom. The rest of me just hopes they remember their ninth birthdays as pretty good days.

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