There’s something a little special about ten. Aside from the occasional moodiness and toddler-like tantrums, it’s a gorgeous age. And one I want to savour for a little bit longer because all too soon it will be gone.
It’s that time, in our house at least, when your child is just starting out on the road to independence but they are not quite ready to make the leap into a more grown-up world. Not quite ready for the responsibility or to fully trust their own judgment.
They still need us there to reassure them they are getting it right, and offer advice (not always listened to) when they are getting it wrong.
I’ve been pondering over this today.
IJ has started walking 200 yards to school without me. She walks with a group of friends, so she isn’t on her own, but I’m no longer at her side holding her hand. Instead I’m 20 yards behind, because that’s where she needs me to be, and I’m not quite ready to let her out of my sight.
But the best thing about that 300-yard walk is that backward glance. The one she gives me to check I’m still there, still watching, still looking out for her. The look of reassurance she needs from me to let her know it’s okay. She’s doing just fine. I’m still there with her.
I’ll miss that when it’s gone. When this age has passed.
And now with her safely at school, I’m turning over a ‘secondary school admissions form’ in my hands, not quite ready to open it and read its contents. It’s a sign of things to come; a reminder that life will change.
I’m not quite ready for it. Not quite ready to contemplate the changes in our lives that secondary school will bring. Not quite ready to think about how my role will change. Not quite ready to let her step out in the world.
So I’ll leave it for now, live in the moment and enjoy her being ten for a little while longer. Secondary school admissions can wait, for at least a couple more weeks while I give myself time to let it all sink in. Then life can move on.