My daughter’s tenth birthday is in a couple of months. As I write this she is giggling in her room with two of her best friends.
Weekend sleepovers are a staple at our house. Pizza, movies, and giggles.
Those giggles, they used to be about dolls, and now they’re about boys. Wow. That happened fast.
And before it’s all about boys, and I know that someday it will all be about boys, there are some things I want her to know…
Ten Things I Want My Daughter To Know Before She Turns Ten
- It’s okay to cry. Hormones are a beast, and that’s all there is to that. Sometimes you will cry, and you won’t even know why. But that’s okay. Just remember to breathe, and wash your face when you’re done— because you don’t want to wake up with puffy eyes tomorrow.
- School is a big deal. Grades are a big deal, homework is a big deal. So, you have to do it, but guess what? As long as you try your best and get it done, then you have plenty of free time to be a kid. Because you’re still a kid, my kid.
- Speaking of being a kid. Just because your age has two numbers in it now instead of one doesn’t mean you can’t like kid things anymore. If you want to sleep with your stuffed animals or use a night light, I won’t tell anyone. Promise.
- Your friends are going to change. That happens to all of us. The girls who were your best friends in kindergarten might not be the girls you want to hang out with in middle school. That isn’t a bad thing, it just means that as you grow up, the things you love change.
But that doesn’t mean you should be mean to them. Or that they should be mean to you.
- In fact, I would like it if nobody was mean to anyone ever. But that isn’t a reality. So when someone is mean to you, don’t reciprocate. It’s just not worth it, and it won’t make you feel better. Trust me. I learned that the hard way.
- Be you. That’s a lot easier said than done, because you’re going to feel like everyone wants you to be something you’re not. But not me, kiddo. I want you to be you no matter what. And if that means a goth-hipster-rodeo clown in a rainbow wig, then I will be in the stands cheering you on. Every time.
- You’re the center of your own universe, and you’re the center of my universe, but that’s as far as that goes. So, look out for yourself. And when you are in over your head? Call me.
- And if I seem like I am too busy, or too overworked, or too tired, or whatever, then tell me not to be. Because for you? I always have time for you. I once read you a book about a hiking boot wearing princess eighteen times in a row. If I had time for that, then I have time for anything when it comes to you. Anything.
- The internet is a cruel and unusual place. It didn’t exist when I was a kid, and I have no idea how we are going to get through the next ten years with every mistake you make out in the open for all the world to see. But we will, eventually.
- Oh? And those boys I mentioned earlier— they will break your heart, and you will break theirs, and it will probably happen again and again. But I will be here every single time to talk you through it. Promise.
Want more? Check out the four questions I ask my kid every day.