We’re there.

Today we hit double digits.

And suddenly I find myself remembering when I turned 10 and how excited I was to finally be in the double digits. And then I think that if I can remember something from 30 years ago, then my child is currently storing up all of his nine and ten year old experiences into a vault in the back of his mind that he may or may not decide to retrieve when he’s forty. And suddenly the experiences seem more important and the lessons we teach more critical and, before I know it, this whole parenting thing enters a new phase.

Phew! Ten is rough for parents – but also so, so rewarding. There’s a lot of letting go while trying to hold on at the same time. A lot of deep conversations about worries and conflict and how I can help him manage the thoughts in his head. I find myself having to fake being wise on a daily basis and, because he’s my first-born, Thomas is the first recipient of all of this “wisdom”. Cue the mummy guilt.

But the reward is that I am watching this little boy turn into a little man and I can try to take a little bit of credit for the great kid he has turned out to be.

At ten, Thomas is:

  • Sensitive – easily hurt but also quick to understand the hurt in others.
  • A reader – to the point where I often have to say “don’t read while you’re walking.” He received three new books for his birthday yesterday and had almost finished them all before bedtime.
  • A good team mate – Soccer is still his favorite pass time and this year he will play in a competitive league for the first time with some of his best friends. I predict a lot of lessons about playing fair, managing disappointment and being a good-sported winner.
  • A great big brother – the sort who will often advise his brother on the best way to get out of trouble “just apologize, Samuel!’, and will share his brand new birthday presents as soon as they’re out of the box. They also share all of their money.
  • A thinker – we have a lot of conversations about the thoughts floating around in his brain, especially right before bed time. These negative thoughts hinder sleep so we work together to come up with a list of good thoughts to replace them. Last night it was imagining what a Calvin and Hobbes TV show would look like. The mind of a 10 year old is always working.
  • Simply a great kid – We’re so, so proud of him. Sure, he’s not perfect (not many of us are ;)) but his intentions are good and he always tries his hardest. Above all, though, he has a good heart. There’s not much else that you can wish for your child.

Happy 10th birthday, Thomas! We love you so much.

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