If asked what she wishes she could do "the most" she will answer that she wants to be able to drive. She has wanted this since she was sixteen and her peers were getting their licenses. Then her nieces and nephews were able to drive and it became even more evident that she was always going to be at the mercy of someone who could drive.
It took Kalisha three years, (off and on, literally :)) to master riding a bike. It is difficult for her to multi-task, so when she was concious of her steering, she would take her feet off the pedals, and when she was looking at her feet to pedal, she was unaware of where she was steering. Crash! She did finally accomplish it and she was very proud of herself, but riding a bike and driving a vehicle are light years apart.
She really wanted to drive, so I hired a company to come to our house and do a 'driving evaluation test' just to make sure that I. as a protective parent, wasn't denying her something that she actually could do, on a limited basis. They usually do these tests for elderly people to verify the fact that they should no longer drive a car. There were simulated gas and brake pedals and a steering wheel. The evaluator would give driving scenarios and Kalisha would react; with the device recording reaction times, etc. It would have made a great You Tube video.
The evaluator had a sense of humor and when Kalisha quizzed him about the results, he said, "Well, young lady, you hit two dogs and ran over a mailman." Needless to say, she could not get a license.
It bothers Kalisha that everyone she knows who is her age or close to it, is either in college or has a degree, has a boyfriend, is married, has a good job, has children, lives on their own, etc. etc. She wants to do all of those things and live in that adult world. Occasionally, she goes to a country music concert with a friend and gets a chance to be 'grown up.' A week ago, they went to the Kenny Chesney Concert and posed with the Hooters girls for a picture.
There was a time when I tried to tell her not to play with the little kids, that she looked silly out there. But I did realize that I was the one who was embarassed, not Kalisha. If she is having fun with 9 year-olds, who am I to deny her that?