My oldest child turned 10 last week.
Double digits. A big milestone in her young life. One that I had been fixated on for several weeks considering the momentous nature of the transition from single digits to doubles. Something you only do once in a lifetime and she had now done it.
I thought about when I turned 10 and what it meant to me. It meant freedom and responsibility as I finally got my own key and could come home from school on my own.
My daughter didn’t get a house key for her birthday. I’m not quite ready for that yet. Well…more precisely I’m not sure she’s quite ready for that. We both have some work to do there.
But as the morning of her birthday arrived and I woke her up as I usually do – this time with the addition of a “happy birthday” kiss – I realized something.
The 10 year old girl looking up at me sleepy eyed and smiling was no different than the 9 year old girl that I had tucked in the night before.
And all the stress and pressure of the big transition to double digits melted away and I understood that I had worked myself up over nothing.
Yes she was – technically – now one year older than she had been the day before. That was something that was going to happen every year no matter how hard I tried to stop it.
But age – as they say – really is just a number. No matter what her age she is going to be the person she was destined to be with a little help from us along to the way to keep her on the right path.
And right now she is a sweet, sensitive, often stubborn, always kind, book loving 10 year old. Next year I know that number will change to 11 – that is a certainty. But the bigger question is what words will be used to define HER one year from now.
I can’t wait to find out…
Happy Birthday to my firstborn. The girl that made me a mother. My preemie daughter that showed so much strength and will from her first breath and still shows that every day.
I love you.