Dedicated to my lovely daughter as she enters the double digit years.
You must have known how cold it was on your due date ten years ago because you had no plans to exit my uterus. I went to work, as usual, and dealt with my coworkers’ surprise. “You’re still here/pregnant?!”
YES. YES, I AM.
You finally decided at 11:00 that night that it was time to pack up your stuff and move out of the womb you had been renting. Twenty-six hours later, at 1:26 am on March 10, 2007, you made your debut. You were all wrinkly and had blue fingers and toes, but you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
Ten years later, as you enter the double digit years, you’re still the most beautiful person I know.
I’ve rejoiced in every milestone. I’ve cried over every disappointment and injury. I marvel at the person you’re becoming. You’re so much more YOU than I ever would have expected.
I know you’ll be reading this, and I want you to know some of the things I love the most about you. I’m sure you’ll roll your eyes and pretend I’m embarrassing you. I hope you take my words to heart and carry them with you during the next ten years of your life. Lord knows I’ll need to remember them to get through your teenage years.
You are kind.
I have heard stories from your teachers of you going above and beyond for your classmates. I’ve witnessed your kindness myself when you didn’t know I was watching. I listened in as you gave your little sister advice on how to talk to the boy she has a crush on. Your big heart is a gift that you choose to share with the people around you. I pray that nobody hurts you so badly that you build a wall around that beautiful heart.
You are wise.
There’s an old soul in you that I’m certain has lived a long, full life before it became yours. You seem to have absorbed some of that soul’s life lessons into the very fiber of your being. I can’t tell you how many times teachers, friends, and even perfect strangers have told me how much older than your years you seem. My heart broke as I watched you hold your sick grandfather’s hand and tell him he needed to get better. You have a way of understanding the moods and wishes of those around you and can adjust your own actions to accommodate. Most of the time — you are still only ten, after all.
You are passionate.
When you love something, you do so unconditionally. I’m talking about your family and friends — you’ve had the same best friends since you were a baby. But you also focus on your interests with the same devotion and drive. I’ve seen you throw yourself into art, running, STEM projects, and Star Wars with equal fervor. Keep that light burning brightly for all of the things that eventually cross your path.
You are intelligent.
I hate saying “no” to you because you will usually make such sensible arguments that I eventually give in. You also know when I won’t change my mind no matter how good your rebuttal is. It frustrates me to no end that you still try and convince me to relent. You have a keen understanding of how words can affect others. A lot of times, you use that knowledge to annoy and even hurt those around you. I look forward to the day that you learn that silence is golden.
You are weird.
To borrow a phrase from Lewis Carroll, “The best people usually are.” You make no apologies for your quirks, even if they don’t fit in with what’s considered “cool” to your peers. You wear your idiosyncrasies like a badge of honor, and you know that what makes you different makes you unique.
I could go on and on about all of the things I love about you, but I’m sure you’re probably getting bored. I love seeing the young woman you’re becoming. It’s amazing to me that our relationship is transitioning to one of friendship as you start to become more mature. I’m still your mom, though, so if you need a little straightening out, I’ll make sure it happens.