I have about 500 photos and twice as many stories to tell from our week up north, but I am putting that on hold a little longer, because our first child - the one who made us parents - turned 10 yesterday! She arrived almost two weeks "early", on the last day of spring, leading into the hottest summer we had in Seattle. This year was just as hot, but it was also the summer solstice, which felt a little more appropriate somehow. Our sun child glows with a fierce fire.
What I want to remember from her at ten is how comfortable she is in her skin. Especially after cutting her hair, there seems to have been an inner transformation, a stripping down to who she really is, without a lot of the fickle distractions. I know she'll swing wide in the coming years, trying on all kinds of styles and ways of being, but I feel like she has a firm handle on who she is at her core.
She is funny, silly, able to be a total goofball. She is observant and wise some moments, dreamy and lost in her own world others. She is curious and asks lively probing questions of just about everyone.
As she gets older, she is more flexible with moving off-center, trying new things, trusting those around her and finding her courage. I have always admired how strongly she listens to her gut, and have hoped that we have encouraged that in her, while holding space for her to step outside of that safe space and move onto unfamiliar ground. Where she shines with this is in meeting new people; a friend observed that she is so available to others, which strikes us as adults as being in such a vulnerable place, but it is where she lives, open and friendly.
I try to share her shine with you, but I wish you could see her dance - she is amazing! - or sit and have a quiet conversation with her, or watch her draw or listen to her sing when she thinks you're out of earshot...I love being with this girl, this incredible person, this lover of nature, eater of sorrel, artist, adventurer, musician, comedienne, compassionate friend. My gratitude is deep.
Dan's folks came from Wisconsin came to visit this week; it's special to have someone to share a birthday with. After our birthday morning ritual - walking 10 times around the candle this year took a long time! - it was time for presents.
Most of her gifts were in the form of money for the camp she asked to go to this summer, but there were some special gifts left to open. She was a bit excited about her pocket knife.
After the farmer's market - so many birthday wishes! - and lake swimming, Grandma and Grandpa took us out for dinner, another big treat. It was a lovely, low-key, celebratory day. She kept saying "I'm ten! I'm ten."
Happy double-digits, sweet sweet girl!