The curve is being rounded to 10 by Grace. How this is possible is beyond me. I feel more and more conscious of her childhood, impending adolescence, and all the things I want her to know, as if I could somehow put morals and principles into her, similar to pressing a coin into soft clay. I am aware that I cannot; the most I can do is to continue speaking, writing, and practicing them.
Ten things I’d like my 10-year-old daughter to be aware of
1. It is not your job to keep the people you love happy.
Not your friends, not your brother, not your father, not me. It’s not, I assure you. You just cannot, and that is the harsh reality.
2. Your physical fearlessness is a strength.
Please keep moving around the world with your body: run, leap, climb, throw. I enjoy seeing you sprint across the soccer field, swing arrogantly across a set of monkey bars, or scale a tree’s tall limbs. Physical activities and challenges promote both health and a sense of accomplishment.
3. You should never be afraid to share your passions.
You may occasionally feel ashamed of your continued interest in doll play, for instance, and fear that your friends will make fun of you. A good friend is not someone who makes fun of you for what you enjoy doing. Though difficult to comprehend, this is crucial.
4. It is okay to disagree with me, and others.
I want to hear your opinion because you are old enough to have one. And your loved ones also do. Naturally, avoid starting conflicts just for the purpose of it, but if you truly believe I’m mistaken, please let me know. You’ve heard me acknowledge your accuracy and apologize for my actions or viewpoints when I recognize they were mistaken. Your viewpoint is both legitimate and useful. Don’t be afraid to express it.
5. You are so very beautiful.
The infant you once were and the young lady you are currently becoming can both be seen on your face. Your father’s coloring, your father’s cleft chin, and my eyes all come together to make you who you are—just you. I can see the clouds of the beauty myth that pervades society hovering over your own increasing self-consciousness. I implore you not to lose sight of your own attractiveness, which is largely a result of the fact that your spirit is so well developed.