So a few weeks ago my daughter turned 10 years old. I have been a mother for 10 years. 10 years is a milestone. It is something to be celebrated; it is a time for reflection. Since my daughter was born my husband and I have added another three children to our brood. We have been busy these last 10 years. No wonder I’ve lost track of time.
At 10 we’re heading into the business end of raising a child. I have managed to teach my daughter how to do shoe laces, use her manners and wipe her own bottom but from here on in is where we really let who she is out of the bag. Her very own free thinking, thought provoking, challenging, independent self. This is what I can’t wait for. This is why I had children.
But realistically speaking, I probably only have another 10 years with my daughter. Even if at 20 years old, the electoral role still has her living with me, I am positive I will see her pass me by on the way to the shower and then pass me again on the way out the door.
Because that’s what you do when you’re 20. And fair enough too. Name me another time when you can be so wonderfully spontaneous, busy, and to a degree, responsibility free?
So what have I learned in the first 10 years? I have learned that knee scrapes heal, siblings at play is one of the sweetest things you’ll see and cornflakes for dinner are okay occasionally. (read: when I couldn’t be stuffed cooking).
For my daughter, I would have to say that starting kindergarten was the biggest learning curve for her. 6 months into kindergarten and my daughter changed so much from a little shy, kind of awkward looking, girl that walked away from me that first day; to a confidence independent student who brought home her first report card with a beaming smile on her face.
Officially my daughter is a tween and the transition from child to tween hasn’t been traumatic. There’s the odd drama here and there but even I am guilty of that.
“What? You can’t find your shoe? Well now we’re going to be late and you know how I hate to late!”
“Mum, we’re only to the pizza place. It doesn’t shut for another 4 hours and they have plenty of tables.”
Ahem. Sometimes I do wonder exactly who does the parenting around here.