Nine’s such an unassuming number isn’t it.
When it comes to kids, we expect huge leaps in development at one, two and three.
Four and five are starting school. Learning to swim. Riding a bike.
And everyone knows 11 is a big one – starting secondary school, embarking on puberty.
Nine? Nine’s sort of in the middle, just sort of sitting there.
I never expected nine to bring so many changes with it. But a few weeks from her tenth birthday, I can’t quite fathom how much growing and changing has gone on in the past 12 months.
Nine was the year Flea started really expressing and having her own opinions about her relationship with her Dad.
Nine was the year Flea started taking her bike to the shops, completely on her own.
Nine was the year Flea started to really, really love going to live concerts.
Nine was the year Flea learned to make coffee, to bring me toast in bed, to do her own laundry (sidenote: WINNING)
Nine was the year Flea started climbing, and can now be seen on a Saturday afternoon, fearlessly hanging upside down, 30 feet in the air.
Nine was the year she started taking her skateboard round the block, playing out.
Nine was the year Flea asked me if I’d buy her a book explaining what happens when your periods start.
Nine was the year Flea’s drama teacher told me my daughter has found her calling – apparently she can really act, and has flawless comic timing.
Nine was the year Flea went on her first overseas trip with school – and was kind enough to pretend she’d missed me when she got back (she so didn’t).
Nine was the year Flea told us she didn’t want swimming lessons any more, any joined a lifeguards club instead.
Nine was the year Flea started to tell me if she didn’t like something I was doing, rather than pretending it was all fine.
Nine will be the year Flea takes a PGL break with a friend – another week away, learning new skills and making new friends.
Nine was the year I fully, finally, became Mum, not Mummy.
And last week saw another milestone. Another momentous moment in the journey that is being nine.
Flea went for a taster day at the secondary school attached to her junior school. She came home full of stories of science labs and experiments, and I can’t quite fathom how we’re doing this already. That we’re already planning for the move to senior school, which is now just one more school year away.