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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Turning 10

My daughter turns 10 tomorrow. Double digits is apparently a big deal.
She has told me so 523 times.
While she is counting the seconds until she joins the ranks of the double digit crowd, I am finally finding Lamaze breathing to be helpful. 
Which takes me back to the day Lamaze breathing felt akin to giving a whale a tic-tac. 
"You have a daughter." 
What sweet and terrifying words. I have a daughter. I.have.a.daughter. 
Holy mother of all things sacred, I have a daughter.
Everyone tells you that it goes by so quickly. Everyone tells you to enjoy every moment of their childhood. I know this to be true but sometimes, when well meaning folks uttered those words, I wanted to gouge their eyes out.
Now, here I am, wondering where the time has gone. How can my newborn girl be leaving single digits behind?
Long days, fast years.
I watch her making her way in the world and I feel a mix of pride, adoration and fear. 
I know what is coming. 
I remember middle school.
I remember getting my first visit from Aunt Flo.
I remember getting my heart broken.
These things are coming. 
I know that she will be stronger for it. I know that these are life lessons that we all have to endure. 
But, still...I want to put her in a bubble.
We do all that we can to protect our children. Seat belts, helmets, vegetables and band-aids. These things are within our control. 
We have no control over the words that will be spoken to our children. We have no control over boys that won't return their undying love. We have no control over teenagers speeding down our street. (Although, I will shout and throw soccer balls at their cars.)
In third grade, my girl told me that she didn't want to wear bows in her hair anymore. Someone told her that she looked like a baby and that she would look much better without the stupid bows. I battled the urge to ask, "Sweetie, tell Mommy who said that. What is their address?" Instead, I repeated our mantra, "Be your own person!" and "It is one thing if you don't want to wear bows anymore, but do not change because of someone else's words."
She never wore a bow, again.
I love to watch my girl play sports. We hustle around, searching for lost socks, rush to the field and once the game starts, I sit down and watch my kiddo for an hour. Just watching, uninterrupted by laundry to fold, dishes to wash, emails to answer. I watch her yuk it up with her buddies that will hopefully be her loyal cohorts through the upcoming years. I watch her look of determination in the batter's box and pray she uses that determination to be true to herself. My heart swells when she gives me a thumbs up and I hope that she knows that I am always in her corner, watching and cheering.

Tonight, we will get out her baby album and we will laugh and coo at her pictures. She will ask to hear the same stories that I have told her over and over. She will ask about the day she was born. She will ask about her first words and her first steps. She will ask why there is a picture of her 2 year old self with maxi pads stuck to her forehead. 
Tonight, we will say "goodbye, 9." 
I will hide my fears from her and tell her how excited I am for her. Because I am excited. I am excited to watch her navigate dramas and excited to see who her first crush is on. (Cue Vodka) I am excited to cheer at her games. I am excited to watch her pave the way for her little sister. 
But, right now, while she is at school, I will look through her baby album and frighten the dog with my boo-hoo'ing.

32 comments:

  1. Wow, so beautiful. It is kind of a big deal, or at least, it feels like it. I remember when I turned ten. I decidedly gave up many things that felt babyish because I was double digits. My oldest turns ten at the end of this year, and I don't even want to start thinking about it. Hope you guys have a great day celebrating!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! It has been a great day. She woke up and went directly to her baby book.

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  2. My girl is three weeks away from her 10 birthday and I love your words. I feel the same way. A celebration that shows me just how fast the years rush along. Happy birthdays! :)

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  3. Okay, my daughter is going to be two in May and THIS just broke my heart a little. I know, as women, we're supposed to want to foster that independent streak in our little girls. I also know, as moms, we kinda want to shove them back in their cribs and rock them to sleep again.

    Happy 10th birthday to your gal and Happy Pretend Happy 10th anniversary of birthing a gal to you!

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    1. I would carry her around in a baby Bjorne if she would let me! Thanks, Stephanie!

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  4. Don't make me cry, dammit! My kiddo has a full 9 months of single digits left!

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! How did they get this old?

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  5. I'm right there with ya. My son just turned 10 and I'm still struggling with it. Though, I love to see the boy he's becoming.

    Happy birthday to your daughter!

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    1. GAH! Parenting is not for wussies, huh? Thanks, Steph!

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  6. I feel your pain, tenfold! My daughter just turned 17! I can't tell you how many times this year I have just cried and cried, thinking about how soon she is leaving to make her own way in the world, and how I havne't gooten to do everything with her yet that I had planned to do. Seriously, I can barely stand to think about it. I don't know how I am gonna let her go. Saturday is her Junior Prom. I will probably cry over that too. Cherish every moment because time moves way too fast girl!

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    1. PROM?!? Holy smokes, I have new things to fret over! Thanks, Nicki!

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  7. Love that photo and your words. My baby girl is 12 and I'm thinking Aunt Flo standing on the front steps. Hate it for her. Things to change the older they get (I have a 19 yo son) but watching from the stands is pretty neat too.

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    1. We recently had the Aunt Flo talk and she kept saying, "Are you kidding me?" I wish.
      Thank you!

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  8. So precious! And good for you for having a baby book done for her to look at! My BABY is 10 and she recently said, melodramatically, that she wishes she were a mermaid. ?! Good luck!

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    1. I am so familiar with melodramatic speech! The apple does not fall far! Thanks, Karmen!

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  9. I have learned my lesson again as to why I should not read your blogs in the morning. Snot and tear stains on my shirt already. Thanks a lot.

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    1. Whatevs. Don't blame me. Your shirt looked like that already.

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  10. Damn it, you got me tearing up. My baby just turned double digits on Tuesday. ...she is so happy to be 10. I love your words "Long days, short years"

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    1. How can it be, right? Happy birthday to your girl! Thanks, Adrienn!

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  11. My daughter has been in double digits for 18 years, but I remember worrying about the same things you are! I have to tell you the story of one of those milestones that Mom's anticipate with excitement and dread with the fear of the unknown: The first middle school dance. I wanted to prepare my daughter for EVERYTHING that might happen. When you stop and think about it, that's alot of stuff to cover. I remember thinking that I need to tell her to be kind to the boy that comes up to her and asks her to dance. So I explained that it takes a lot of courage for that boy to summon the courage to approach a girl and risk getting rejected, so I told her she didn't have to marry him, but just dance with the guy. So, when her Dad got home from work that day and she was almost ready to head out the door, he asked her if good 'ol Mom had given her any advice. She promptly replied, "Never say 'no' to a boy."

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    1. Hilarious! What did your husband say? Thanks, Carol Ann!

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  12. The crazy love/hate, push/pull of motherhood, huh? I hear ya. The days drag and the years fly... but like you said, they one day land and you wonder how they got behind you so quickly. but all the things that make her a wonderful kid will lead her to be a wonderful young lady and pave the way for her to be an amazing woman! You've done good, mommy!
    Vicky
    www.thepursuitofnormal.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Vicky! Push/pull is so right! She wants to snuggle but is starting to shy away from PDA's!

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  13. The bitter sweet life of being a mom..I raised my niece and she is now 22 and I can tell you it's so wonderful to see them grow and blossom but also so heartbreaking too because it does, go by so fast...As I was reading this post I remember all of this with my niece like it was yesterday and now she's a grown woman and I am still wishing she was 4...Happy birthday to your new 10 year old :)
    Robyn

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    1. Thank you, Robyn! I can tell you are so proud of your girl. The chickens come home to roost, huh?

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  14. Oh man - I can so relate to everything you said here! I well remember having these exact same feelings nearly 24 years ago when my own daughter turned 10. And now my oldest granddaughter is getting ready to turn 10. Soooo not ready for it. Have you ever heard the saying "The days are long, but the years are short"? So true!

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  15. Great post. My daughter is now 1 yr away from teenager!!!!!!! It is CrAzY! When she was little those days were endless, but once they enter school the years fly and now I find myself wondering what happened and how it is she is going into the SEVENTH GRADE next year. I had my first date in 8th grade, But lucky for me, my daughter still thinks boys have cooties.

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    1. I am totally perpetuating the cooties philosophy! It is crazy how fast it goes, huh?

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