What I remember about being almost ten is that it isn’t easy. That it stings when people laugh about your problems, and tell you how great and easy it is to be a kid, because sometimes it doesn’t feel great at all. Sometimes it hurts and it feels very, very hard, and I was grateful to have a mom that understood that. I remember thinking that I wanted to be that same kind of mom one day and I hope that I am baby girl, because she was a great one.
I remember feelings that were big and hard to control, and I remember feeling so helpless and miserable when I couldn’t. I remember telling my mom that I felt like I would never fit in anywhere. I remember almost ten being tough. Unfortunately, completely 10 is tough too…and 11. In fact, let’s not even think about how long your road will be bumpy, because it’s intimidating – for you and me both.
Let’s just think of all the wonderful things that not quite 10 brings, and snuggle here together with a good book. I love that you still love to snuggle with me, and I know these sweet days are numbered. I count them each one as precious, sweet girl – every little one matters.
I kiss your head and drink in the sweet smell of your hair, your delicate features, your slight frame that still curls perfectly into my lap, and I squeeze a little tighter. I think of how foolish I feel trying to give you advice – you who are wise beyond your years. You who has taught me so much. You who gives such good counsel to everyone. I often feel the advice should flow the other way, and I’ve actually asked myself what you would say or do in certain situations.
That’s one comfort in all these changes – I know who you are, beautiful girl, and most importantly you know who you are, too. I love that about you.
I worry less about you. I can’t put finger on exactly what it is, but you’ve always needed me less than your sisters do. It’s this quality you have – independent, sure, but something more, too. I just instinctively know that you’re going to be okay.You make your own way in life, sure and confident. You’re not afraid to challenge anyone – even a grown up, even a teacher, even a stranger – when you know you’re right. And you usually are right. Little twerp.
You were born with muchness.
Smart and resourceful, bold and brave, unfailingly kind and generous. You are never first in line, never take the biggest piece, never choose your friends based on popularity…and more often than not, based on exactly the opposite. You are friend to the friendless, voice for the meek, champion of all that is good and pure and right in your world. Your heart moves me to tears with regularity, and your momma is not a crier. The beauty that is you, my precious, precious girl – it comes from deep within. Loves shines from you.
I wish I knew how you did it, so I could do it too.
Everything that is you, dear child, is something I love. Even the sticky parts. Even the parts that are hard and the parts that make you nervous. I am right here, loving you through all of them. Always will be.
I know that almost 10 isn’t easy, but trust me baby, you are rocking it.
I wish I could tell you that one day you will look back and realize that, but you probably won’t. It’s just the way we are wired. I could tell you that one day, many years from now, you will realize that almost 10 isn’t nearly as Big and Bad as it once seemed, but that doesn’t really matter when you are There and it Is and it Does, so I won’t say that.
I will just tell you instead that we will survive it together.
That I will always have your back.
That you are blessed with a Father who has it better than I ever could.
That you are a very bright light in what sometimes seems like a very dark world, and while it isn’t always easy, it is always worth it.
And then we will snuggle, while you’ll still let me.
This is a good thing about not-quite-10.
And today, I think that is enough.