I remember turning ten. I don’t remember much about the day, but I remember turning ten. Leaving behind the babies of single digits and stepping into the world of the grown ups. I may not have been able to do ½ of what they did, but I was now in the same age bracket as them. To me, turning ten was a bigger deal than turning 16. Or 18. Or even 21. Ten. Was so grown up, and I was well on my way to becoming the big person I had always dreamed of being, this was just one of the many steps that I needed to take in my mind.
Today would have been my daughters tenth birthday. A lot of me wonders if she would have found the same importance of turning ten as I did. She may have had her mothers looks, and personality. But the attitude was all me. And today I wonder how much of that would have stuck.
Out of curiosity I looked back in my old notebooks of scribbled words and apparent menus. My first ever attempt at writing was at 6 years old. I wrote twice. And never touched the book. Until I turned ten. Because grown ups wrote, and since I was now grown up – that was what I must do. Write. And so I did. I wrote my ten year old heart and mind out. A lot of it I don’t understand. The handwriting and spelling mistakes are worse than today. Plus I wrote in a lot of code. But the most of it was that the day was either fun, or it wasn’t. And I always wrote what we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I must have read somewhat that growns ups wrote about those kind of things.
I flipped through many old notebooks until I finally came across the entry that I had made. At ten years old, on October 22. I wrote:
We went for a burger at lunch. I read my new book and looked at stuff. Amy broke her finger cleaning the floor. My sheets arent on my bed. They are in the washer?
I ended the day with a bunch of brightly colored balloons and then drew targets on them. I was surprised to find an entry on the day I was looking for, because there are big gaps in the days, and a lot of empty pages of “Didn’t write here” written on the wrinkled pages.
On her tenth birthday, I cant HELP but wonder who she would have been. What her personality would be like. If she would be writing, or if she would just roll her eyes at words. I wrote because my older sister wrote, and to me she was the epitome of grown up. But she wouldn’t have had any older siblings to look up to.
Who she would have been, what she would be doing, where she would be going. What would have been important to her. What would she have liked. Disliked. All questions that plague my mind. I try not to focus on them, knowing they wont be answered. Instead I try to remember the two years I had with her, and remember her as who she was, and not who she possibly might be. Or who I have made her out to be in my mind.
I don’t know who she would be today. Don’t know what she would have looked like. Don’t know what she would have liked, or disliked. Don’t know if she would like to write, or draw, or avoid it with everything in her. All I know is that at two, she lived life like everyday was a brand new day, and full of adventure. Because to her – it was. Every day to her was new. Living was her job. And she never showed up late.
Saying Happy Birthday, just doesn’t seem to cut it. Because having her here to celebrate her big day with – would be the only thing that WOULD cut it. And that simply isn’t possible. Instead Im left with memories. Pictures. And a whole lot of unanswered questions.
She didn’t always smile, didn’t always listen. Didn’t always do what she should. To anyone else she would be just another toddler. Growing up. Learning. Changing. But to me, she was perfect. She was 100% mine. She just was.