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Today, WordPress’ Daily Prompt was: Ten.

We had a meeting at the school today about my eldest, who is now seven.

And while there are some things she excels at, she also has some clear challenges.

And we have some stuff to think through as her parents.

Just one more example of how parenting is scary.

Choices we make matter and have impact.

And they are never easy and sometimes you just can’t know if you are making the right choice.

Example?

Years – like 20 years – after the fact, I found out that my dad had been offered a job in London, England when my brother and I were in elementary school.

Professionally, it would have been a great opportunity.

But he said no – because, among other things, it would have meant uprooting the family.

Everyone is happy today. So, all told? Great parenting.

Was that the right choice?

Probably. And either way, it felt right to them as parents. So they went with it.

But you just can’t KNOW.

So with all that bubbling I then saw the prompt for ten – not far from seven – and tried to think how much I remembered of either age. You know, as a way to somehow gage how life-altering what we do now will be for our child.

No pressure.

Either way, we’ll talk through our current choices for our child – and with her if we ultimately think a change is warrented – but this whole train of thought prompted the following list of:

Ten Things From When I Was Ten (1987)

1. I was a Girl Guide and spent a week each summer at Camp Woolsey. I loved Girl Guides. I hated summer camp. Tents just weren’t my thing. So I put this memory firmly in the “character building” bucket. [Note: My parents gave me a camera when I was 8, and the album is on our bookshelf – my 4-year-old had a blast flipping through tonight as I picked a few shots).

camp_wolsey

me_ten2. I loved my school photo that year. I still remember the dress. And for years I remembered having a good hair day. I loved how shiny and wavy it looked. I didn’t really love my class photo again until Grade 11.

3. At 10 I started serious competitive swimming. I joined an “elite” program with the local swim club called “10 and Under” and we swam 5 times a week. It was the beginning of that phase of my life. I dreamed of going to the Olympics. Even though that didn’t pan out, I think the focus and effort involved shaped who I am.

4. I played piano. I’d started the year before and would ultimately take lessons until the end of high school and complete Grade 9 of the Royal Conservatory Program. The piano I learned on is now in our home and my kids play on it. I hope they will one day want to take lessons and learn to play.

5. I rode an elephant for the first (and I’m pretty sure only) time.

elephants

6. I liked dinosaurs. I remember giving a speech about it. “The first bird was archaeopteryx. He lived about 150 million years ago.” That was the beginning of my speech for school that year.

7. I was bullied by one of the girls in my swimming carpool. I’ve written about that previously here. I kept a diary where I mostly wrote about that.Building_Bullying_3

8. I started Jazz dance classes and felt very adult about the whole thing. I’d done tap classes since I was 5 and it was time for something more mature. Our recital dance was to Madonna’s True Blue.

9. Speaking of music, I started acquiring my own. My first album was Whitney Houston’s self-titled 1987 album Whitney. My favourite track ended up not being the most remembered hit “I Want to Dance with Somebody” but this one:

10. My Grandmother visited that summer from South Africa. I was her only granddaughter so I was special and she made the effort to make me feel special. She wrote me letters and postcards all through my childhood. She was an amazing lady: survived the war in London and them lived and worked in Kenya and South Africa.

betty_jones

She passed away when I was in my early 20s and I miss her. My daughters would have loved her. And she’d have loved them.

Do you remember 10 things about being 10? Share some in the comments!

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