Questions for an Almost Six Year Old Yousef

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What is your name? Yousef
When were you born? February 20th
Where were you born? Virginia 
How old are you? 6
What does Baba do? Works for Deloitte
What does Mama do? Works
What is your favorite color? Yellow
What do you want to be when you grow up? Nintendo designer
What is your favorite food? Nutella sandwich
What is your favorite snack? KIND bar
What is your favorite drink? Smoothie
What food do you not like? Tomato
What is your favorite animal? Yoshi
Where do you want to live when you grow up? In an apartment
What do mama and baba do after you go to bed? Go out
What does baba say? Yes to Ninetendo
What does mama say? You can buy it
What is your favorite song? Natural by Imagine Dragons
Where is your favorite place to eat? McD
Who is your favorite person? Baba
Who is your best friend? Nate
What is your favorite book? Cat in the Hat
Who is your sister? Gannah-Rae
What does she do? Be mean
Where did Jannah-Rae come from? Mimi
What is your favorite thing to do? Play Nintendo switch
What is your favorite outfit? Midnight snacker shirt

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This was Eight

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Eight was dolls, dolls, dolls.
Dolls from Sam’s Attic for a handful of dollars.
Dolls from Grandma’s friend, no longer needed.
Dolls from Buy Nothing, our community sharing group.
Dolls from Australia, as the hunt for a doll with a hijab continues.
Dolls from Oodles, our neighborhood toy store, where the hunt for the Muslim doll concludes.
American Girl dolls, Our Generation dolls, Disney character dolls.
Dolls of every ethnicity, shape and size.
Jannah-Rae’s bed is now overtaken by dolls.

Eight was afterschool activities, different on different days.
It was piano, now on Wednesdays.
Basketball, Fridays with Baba.
Soccer Saturdays, right after Yousef is done.
And aftercare all other weekdays.
Eight set a goal to read an Arabic book.
Nailed it before time was up.

Eight was more legos, more coloring, more writing.
It was The Game of Life, Chess, Clue, and Scrabble.
It was cutting, gluing, taping, stapling, sewing, and stitching.
It was playing Spy, School, Store.
It was another attempt at enjoying puzzles, but not really.
It was mixed gender play dates, with cooking and baking in the mix.

Eight was responsible, beautiful, wonderful.
Eight was thoughtful, considerate, and passionate about people, places, and things.
Eight was courageous, with so many changes.
Eight was emotional, with tantrums few and far in between.
Eight was relentless, in some ways more than others.
Eight was daring, but only within preestablished comfort levels.

Eight was, and still is, empathetic, sometimes to a debilitating degree.
Eight was reluctant to push too many boundaries, and sometimes resistant to pushing her own.
Eight was a mature sense of responsibility, an early awareness to the value of money.
Eight asks for much, but is willing to take “no” for an answer.
Eight understands when something is “too expensive,” and backs off from the request.

Eight remained a good eater, with a sense for culinary adventure.
Eight was plenty of tears, plenty of laughs, and plenty of fun.
Eight was social difficulties, mostly on the school playground.
Eight was family adventure, on a cruise ship to Alaska.
Eight was making memories, with family and friends.

Eight was road trips, field trips and walking trips.
Eight was skipping rope, and skipping stones.
Eight was dirt, dust and mud.
Eight was flowers, showers and dress ups.
Eight was glaciers, gardens and goats.
Eight was climbing trees, floating on the river, picnicking in the shade.
Eight was bike rides, scooter rides, and car rides.
Eight was a first sleep over, a second cruise, a third Chuck-E-Cheese.

Eight was love letters, exchanged with her Mama.
Eight was pen pals, still in Maryland.
Eight was blog posts, published locally.

Eight was disciplining Yousef, who always seemed to be doing the opposite.
Eight was bossing Yousef, who still is the youngest.
Eight was jealous of Yousef, when it seemed he got more than she did.
Eight was competing with Yousef, for physical and emotional resources.
Eight was fighting with Yousef, for this, that or the other.

Eight was looking out for Yousef, making sure he is safe.
Eight was minding Yousef, keeping him in line.
Eight was loving on Yousef, cuddles, snuggles and morning kisses.
Eight was caring for Yousef, going into the dark with him to keep him company.
Eight was teaching Yousef, reading him books, and reading out the directions.
Eight was a non-replaceable friend to Yousef, unconditional love to the end of time.

Eight saw Yousef turn 5, Baba turn 48 and Mama turn 41.
Eight grew into an almost nine year old, and got ready to be one last year in the single digits.
Eight heralded a new time to come, a new place to be.
Eight grew tall, and strong, and pretty and proud.
Eight was graceful.
Eight was grateful.
And Mama is thankful for all that was eight.

Questions for an Almost Nine Year Old Jannah-Rae

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What is your name? Jannah-Rae
When were you born? January 5, 2010
Where were you born? Virginia Hospital Center
How old are you? Turning 9
What does Baba do? Works for Deloitte
What does Mama do? Cooks and takes care of us
What is your favorite color? Purple and turquoise
What do you want to be when you grow up? A marine biologist and a biomedical engineer
What is your favorite food? Anything that Mama cooks
What is your favorite snack? Cheese and crackers
What is your favorite drink? Shirley Temple
What food do you not like? Nothing
What is your favorite animal? Polar bears and white tigers
Where do you want to live when you grow up? In California
What do mama and baba do after you go to bed? Watch TV and eat snacks
What does baba say? Let’s play and I love you
What does mama say? Let’s cook and I love you
What is your favorite song? You gotta be
Where is your favorite place to eat? Olive Garden
Who is your favorite person? Mama and Baba
Who is your best friend? Elena
What is your favorite book? The Wish Tree
Who is your brother? Yousef
What does he do? Plays Legos
Where did Yousef come from? Mama
What is your favorite thing to do? Draw and watch plays
What is your favorite outfit? I have a lot