Today my youngest child turns ten. I’m not really ready to admit all of my kids are tweens, but it’s true. Unlike when my boys turned ten, I know what it’s like to be a ten year old girl. Ten is a difficult age for a girl. The entire junior high span can be a hard time as you are not a child, and you are not a teen.
Dear Princess as you turn ten,
I remember bringing you home. I remember finding out I was having a girl. I was about to take an heirloom sewing class and I delayed picking my project until I knew if you were a boy or a girl. You were a girl, so I sewed a darling dress for you. As I recall you hated wearing it because it was a little long to walk in.
That strong-willed aspect of you hasn’t changed in nine years. I don’t expect it to change any as you get older. If anything, you’ve become more strong-willed as you’ve aged. That’s okay I have too, and when the two of us stand toe to toe, it’s not always a good thing. Neither of us has learned to blink.
Ten is a hard age for a girl.
Some of your friends are starting to like boys, some of you still think boys are icky and wish you didn’t even have brothers. Right now all of your friends are still firmly in the “boys are icky” crowd, but I expect that change to soon.
Hold on to that phase as long as you can. Hold on to being a kid as long as you can, because life is long, and childhood is short.
As you move into this new phase of your life stay loyal to your friends. Right now you are loyal to a fault, and continue to work on things even when that friend does not have the same loyalties as you. Junior high is the age girls are the most cliquish and the most likely to say something because they know it hurts. Forgive those who hurt you, and remember they are still young. Don’t let a careless statement destroy a friendship.
Do not be the girl who excludes someone else, work to include others. You already do a good job with this. You work to make sure one person is not left out, and you stop to talk to those who are by themselves. Keep doing this.
Ten is a hard time because you are unsure of your place in the world.
Are you a kid? Are you a teen? You are my daughter, a most precious and beloved child. You are a daughter of The King, and Chosen from the beginning of time to be adopted into His family.
Sometimes you will act like you are two, and I will treat you like that. Sometimes we will be silly together, because it is fun to be silly.
Sometimes, and this will be more and more frequent as time passes, I will treat you like an adult. I will expect you to act like one and react like one. But not too often, because I still don’t always remember I’m an adult, and wish I could be 10 again.
When I was a kid 10 was always my perfect age. Old enough to do most things, but not so old I was responsible for everything.
I miss being 10.
But, I wouldn’t exchange the joys and sorrows of growing up and becoming your Mom to become 10 again for a moment (well most moments, if I’m honest).
Sometimes I will embarrass you.
I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s part of my job to embarrass my daughter. My Mom did it to me, and I’m quite sure you will do it to your daughter someday.
I will sing showtunes at the top of my lungs as I drive in the car. I will dance badly to a song I like. I will make stupid jokes.
And you’ll be embarrassed. But that’s okay. It’s part of being 10.
Just remember through it all, you are loved.
More than I can say. I may want to scream at you some days. You may want to scream at me. We may be laughing at each other, but through it all, you are loved. You are my precious daughter, and I love you.