My biggest girl turned 10 this weekend.
Let me have a moment to let that sink in.
I could go on about how talented Saoirse is. The music. The writing. But you don’t want to hear it. And I can’t tell you about it without the seams of my skin bursting with all of sorts of brag-y pride.
I could tell you how strong she is, how much she’s grown, how steadily she’s become confident in her own body: the way she moves down a basketball court, how she runs across the school parking lot toward me at the end of the day. But you don’t care about that. You have your own kids and nieces and nephews to admire.
I could tell you how much she seems like me though she looks like her dad. How he saw her during class a couple of weeks ago–the children were doing a writing exercise–and was taken aback by how the class business swirled around her, but she kept her head down, did the work, didn’t get distracted by questions and chatter and conversation. It worries us that she might struggle more socially in school if she is like this–if she’s too by-the-rule to be cool–but how can any parent begrudge their child the ability to tune the rest out? Why would we want anything else for her? I’m proud and I worry and I’m so, so proud again.
I could describe how she overthinks, how she internalizes struggles and conflicts. How she keeps trying to make everything better, manage relationships, fix problems. I could tell you how she beats herself up when she makes a mistake, how she cries easily, how much she wants to be loved even though she has no clue how very much she already is.
You don’t want me to tell you all of that about my 10-year-old. Because: you have your own children and nieces and nephews. You have your own 10-year-olds to love. Saoirse is mine. She is ours. She was the pregnancy that beat the odds, the embryo who persisted despite the D&C her doctor wanted to schedule. She is the baby who has grown into the brunette sweetheart who thanks me for making dinner and coaches her sister in basketball and lets her brother sit beside her at her desk to draw. I see her and I look back on those early weeks and think, it was you. It was you who made me what I am. It was you who showed me the way.
She is 10.
She is so loved.