A full week of birthday celebrations finally came to a close as the sun set last night. I'm not quite sure why, but 10 feels like such a momentous birthday to me. I wanted 10 to feel special and different. I wanted 10 to stand out in life's timeline. Sj is now officially double digits, she's got one year to raise both hands, fingers fully splayed out, and tell the world, she's 10.
Turning 10 also means there's a deeper understanding of how life works and sometimes it's an opportunity to grow emotionally, as well as chronologically. We sat down for lunch at Zoe Ma Ma, sipping a pipping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup, while the girls devoured some potstickers. They finished them quickly and decided they wanted steamed buns, so we handed Sj some cash and sent her off to order more. Even in the tiniest moments of independence, I find myself smiling as I carefully observe Sj growing leaps and bounds into her 10th year. As the conversation turned to how we would celebrate her birthday, namely with friends, we also had to talk about how it was not possible to have it all. Sj desperately needed a new bicycle and since our family has a love for all things cycling, buying a cheap bicycle wasn't an option. Even though I tried to talk through valid points for buying a bicycle that was more economical, in the end I convinced myself an investment in a nice bicycle was indeed a perfect way to celebrate being 10 years old.
But with a new bicycle, some things would have to move off the table as options. Take for example, horseback riding with 3 friends. While tears may have been held back in our conversation, I watched the wheels turn in Sj's head. She fully understood our talking points and within a matter of moments, I watched her almost tear filled eyes dry up and start to sparkle when we started to hatch out a plan. In a very rational way, she chose a bicycle over 1 hour of horseback riding. She also presented the option of having friends come spend the night, where we would craft, watch a movie, have dinner, and a special breakfast in the morning. And just like that, all before we reached the bottom of our soup bowl, a birthday plan was hatched.
While there is a part of me that wishes I could simply give my daughter whatever she delighted on her birthday, I recognize the beauty of allowing her to be an integral part of our decision making. She's very wise for being 10 years young, and I credit our openness with her to nurturing her ability to make less ego driven decisions and more head smart choices at her age.
We left Zoe Ma Ma and walked a block to the bike shop, where we picked up her sweet new ride.
Happy 10th Birthday my lovely, kind, generous, fashionable, mature, beautiful, sweet, and inspiring 10 year old. This year is going to be all kinds of wonderful.