The twins are turning 10 in a couple of weeks. Double digits. Double the double digits, in this case.
Ten is an astonishing number. No one can believe it. No one wants to believe it. A whole decade.
Halfway to twenty.
Ten is a time of editing. We just repainted the girls' room for the first time since kindergarten. The girls chose the colors. Bye-bye, pale pink. Hello, aqua and coral. Pictures and figurines deemed "babyish" have been taken down. A lot of these were baby or baptism gifts. But really, those things were more for the parents than for the child.
Many toys have been relegated to the closet to leave more floor space for slumber parties. There are rows of tiny erasers, squishy toys, and flavored lip balms on their windowsills.
Ten is a time to check myself: to acknowledge how different my children are from me, and how very different they are from each other. This year the girls are having two birthday parties with friends. N. invited all the class to go ice skating. I. just wants her closest friends over for a sleepover.
I. tried to read "Anne of Green Gables" for her book report. She didn't get past the first chapter. She didn't see the charm--or rather, it failed to charm her. Neither of the girls care for the "Little House" series. I loved these books. But they are too old-fashioned for I. and N.'s tastes. I always thought we might have these series in common. But then I force myself to acknowledge that my own grade school friends weren't especially interested in them, either--and it hits me that there really were not many great series for girls AND boys written in the 1970s and 1980s. I wonder whether my brothers and I would have read the "Harry Potter" series together. What if we had been able to have any books in common? Would we get along better?
Ten is a time of discovery. The girls started band in September. Band is optional at their school, starting in fourth grade. N. plays the trumpet. I. plays the clarinet. D. and I murmur to each other that the girls are pretty good, and in their faces we see a satisfaction that neither of us really ever felt in music. N. has never taken piano lessons, but lately she sits down at a piano and plays something that sounds like an idea of something, and it sounds pleasant.
Ten is a time of farewell. Last night I sat in the basement and sorted an enormous bin of 11.5-inch dolls. The girls want to keep some Barbies but said they don't care about Monster High, Ever After High, and Disney Princess dolls. It's been about a year since they regularly played with them. I remembered many of them from Christmas, birthday, or Easter wish lists. But when it came down to trying to place a memory with the dolls, I could only remember one: an elfin little blonde preschooler with bangs and dimples, beaming up at the Sleeping Beauty doll in her Easter basket.
That was then. This is 10.