Guest Post from Kate Coveny, Age Nine

*Don’t forget to enter my jewelry giveaway from Lisa Leonard Designs! Click here for details.

My friend Jozette of Regardez Moi was supposed to guest post this week, but she had to postpone due to a busy weekend and an unexpected business trip (translation: she was too drunk/hung over this weekend and is using a business trip excuse to give her vague “too busy” plea a bit more credibility). Hi Jozette!

So you will have to wait a couple more weeks to hear from her. But it will be worth the wait. Aside from her obvious lack of priorities (I guess she didn’t get the “Kate is #1” memo), she’s a doll and I’m looking forward to seeing what she sends me.

Since Kate Coveny Hood isn’t feeling all that inspired… I thought I’d ask someone else to do a last minute guest post for me. Welcome to Kate Coveny, the nine year old I used to be. As I’m typing this I have no idea what she is going to say, but I’m fairly certain that it will be incredibly embarrassing for Kate Coveny Hood. Because you know – I was odd.

(Weird sepia tinted effect courtesy of the scanner at my office.)

Hello! Kate Coveny here. Before I tell you a little bit about myself, I’d like mention that I’m being translated into “thirty-six year old woman.” We felt that this would be more appropriate for the given audience. Plus – at nine years old, my vocabulary is limited and my spelling is atrocious.

That out of the way, I will now attempt to write a “blog post.” I have no idea what a blog is of course, but it sounds like the pen pal letters that we sometimes write in school. You tell me a little bit about you, I tell you a little bit about me…that kind of thing. I’m hoping that you don’t decide to tell me anything about [whispers] s-e-x because I just found out about that in the recent past and I’m still recovering from the shock. Please – there are some things that nine year old girls just don’t like to think about.

What I DO like to think about includes my dolls (yes – I still play with dolls, what of it?), art projects, cute small animals, and my favorite books. I love to read, and at the moment I particularly like anything written about “the olden days.” This would include All of a Kind Family, Betsy-Tacy, Little Women, anything illustrated by Tasha Tudor, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House” books. There are so many more – but these are at the top of my list right now. I found most of these books during “Library” at school while the boys were looking up dirty words in the dictionary (they are gross – feel free to talk to them about s-e-x).

At the moment, I have two best friends. I met both of them at my school, Annunciation. My first friend at Annunciation was Sheridan. Sheridan’s mom and my mom met at a school function shortly after we moved to DC last year. They set up a play date for us which is great for me since I’m really shy. Sheridan doesn’t like to play with dolls, but she does like cute small animals. Actually, her favorite animals are not small. Sheridan rides for the Rock Creek Park show team and knows EVERYTHING about horses. She is teaching all of this to me. Sometimes at recess, she quizzes me on horse anatomy and riding terminology. She is a strict teacher – but she says that I’m learning very quickly. Then we play horses using a jump rope for “reigns.” She likes to be the horse, which is fine with me because in my head I pretend that I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder. We play other things too, but right now, horses figure prominently in our friendship. We decided that we were best friends right away – even though I have a lot to learn about horses.

The next best friend I made at Annunciation was Madeline. She was new this year, and Sheridan is in a different classroom. When Madeline’s mother saw that I lived a few blocks away, she invited me over for a play date. Madeline is not interested in horses. Which is a nice change of pace. I think that one horse-crazy friend is enough. Madeline likes to play with dolls (like me!) She has two older sisters and two younger brothers and they all eat dinner at 5:00. This is REALLY EARLY! But Sister (the housekeeper – as in “keeper of all things in the house, including children”), is very strict about this rule. Sometimes, I am invited to stay, but sometimes I have to go home since she has enough to deal with already. Madeline’s sisters are teenagers and they’re both really, really pretty. They have lots of boyfriends and get dressed up to go out every weekend. Sometimes when they don’t go out, they put make up on Madeline and me. They say that Madeline will be the most beautiful of all of the sisters. Truth be told, this makes me a little jealous. I want to be the most beautiful of three sisters, but I just have one brother – and he doesn’t talk about which one of us will be the most beautiful.

I am not beautiful. But I have a lot of imagination. Madeline likes to play games with me because I am very good at pretending. At the moment, our favorite game is to pretend that we are The Borrowers, and that we are tiny. There is one tree that we like to climb and pretend it is a flower. Another game that we like to play is that we are orphans looking for our parents. As I write this, I realize that it doesn’t make any sense – but that’s the game. In the game, we both wear lockets that have pictures of our parents so that we will recognize them if we find them. I think that we may have gotten this idea from Annie, but I’m not sure. Sheridan doesn’t have much patience for these games, but she does like to play other pretend games like “School.” Guess who gets to be the teacher?

I like having two different best friends because they are fun in different ways. Someday I hope they like each other more, because it’s hard to have best friends that don’t like each other as much as they like me.*

(sepia tint with new and improved “lipstick” effect – again compliments of the scanner at work.
But I think I would have liked it at age nine – very “old fashioned” no?)

Well, I think that’s enough from nine year old Kate Coveny for now. As you can see she doesn’t really know how wrap it up (not that Kate Coveny Hood is much better). When I started this stream of consciousness inspired exercise, I didn’t plan to focus childhood friends. But it’s a topic that’s still very relevant to me. I have always believed that your friends say a lot about you as a person. I placed a great deal of value on my friendships as a child, and I still do. Instead of getting caught up in the group politics so common to young girls, I preferred to spend more time with individuals and focus on those friendships. The associated groups of friends were simply a byproduct.

I like to think that I had fun back then, but at the end of the day, I was a fairly serious girl. I gave a lot of thought to my choices, and generally chose to surround myself with interesting and amusing people. I’m happy to say that this is something that hasn’t changed. My current daydreams are less fanciful (I can promise you that I’m not wearing a bonnet or a tippet in any of them), but I still have them. And I choose to spend my time with people who help to inspire them. Hi there friends that are reading this! Just want to say that I love you.

*This was an unfounded concern of mine when I was nine. Once we were all in fifth grade together, Sheridan and Madeline became best friends. While I may have lamented my downgraded status at the time, I had some other best friends to fill the void. Relationships are complicated when you’re a nine year old girl. Almost thirty years later, these two women are still very dear to me. I don’t see them often, but they are like the sisters that I never had as a little girl. Those short paragraphs only provide a few details about their own little nine year old lives. I could easily write a book about either of them.

15 thoughts on “Guest Post from Kate Coveny, Age Nine

  1. Jozette

    GASP! I can’t believe you outed me.

    Now the pressure is on.

    And 9 year old Kate? She’s an extraordinary blog contributer.

    I’m so sorry I didn’t have something for you by my deadline!

    And, and, and… I really do have a a business trip to Chicago. I’m leaving tomorrow. I swear! I’ll even send you my plane ticket. And I’ll take pictures. Just to prove it.

    Ugh, I suck.

  2. Marinka

    Oh, but she is beautiful. And I loved “All of a Kind Family” too, and even got to meet Ella.

    I loved this post. Thanks for giving us a peek back.

  3. Anna See

    This is so neat, Kate! I enjoyed this peek into your childhood. By the way, I am a Huge Betsy-Tacy fan! My grandma read them to my mother, who read them to us! I have a brand new set for my kids. PLUS, I have a Betsy-Tacy mug! To this day, when we drive by a fancy Victorian w/ a turret, we say “That’s Tib’s house!

    I get what you are saying about individual friends. When Molly gets stressed out about great friends who aren’t friends w/ ea other, I remind her that there is enough of her to go around.

  4. Christy

    Oh Kate I absolutely loved this post. It reinforces my opinion that you should also write a book – like Anastasia! You are a really gifted writer, and I loved your descriptions of having a couple of close friends, and the circles of accompanying friends being byproducts…what a great description – and I also really relate! So glad you started this blog – it is always a pleasure to read. Hope to see you over the holidays when we’re in Virginia!

  5. csquaredplus3

    That was fun Kate. Darling photographs, even with the sepia tint.

    My friends and I enjoyed playing “Little House on the Prairie” and orphan girls (what was THAT about?) too.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood. And you really were beautiful.

  6. Cyndy

    I loved reading about your two best friends from childhood and how they then became best friends. The same thing happened to me in college – I got my two best friends to share a triple room with me senior year, and after I finished a semester early they became best friends for a while. That was weird for me because I really missed them both. But now we are back to being a trio when we get together every five years or so.

  7. K

    Love this post! You already know about my desire to be Laura as a youngster. I must admit not knowing All of a Kind Family or Betsy-Tacy, but I still love to re-read my favorite juvenile fiction and now these will be some new ones to enjoy. Love your concern for your friends and how you still have it!

  8. Connie

    What a fun read! I think you are/were beautiful. Nine year old Connie would have wanted to be your friend but we probably would have just sat around and read books together.

    I have never heard of several of the books you mentioned! These are the hazzards of living under a rock.

  9. Lexiloo

    I LOVED the Betsy-Tacy books! Actually, until I read this post, I never knew about the later ones. My library just had thr first three, and I read them sooooo many times, now I want to find the others!

  10. butwhymommy

    Oh my nine year old self would have loved your nine year old self. I love Little House (and still do) and I loved to play pretend. Maybe we can set up a playdate sometime.


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