Friday, August 14, 2009

Double Digits

I'm reading a new book called Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen this week. It's about two 8th graders - a boy and a girl - who are neighbors. The boy thinks the girl is weird, the girl thinks the boy is the most wonderful thing on the face of the earth. *Sigh* It's always that way, isn't it? I've only gotten through the first 40 pages, but a sentence on page 34 caught my attention and I started thinking about other things. I had one of those moments where you look down and suddenly you've read three more pages and had no idea your eyes were still moving but your brain had turned off. The sentence said this:

"After that he [her dad] didn't talk so much about events as he did about ideas. And the older I got, the more philosophical he seemed to get. I don't know if he really got more philosophical or if he just thought that I could handle it now that I was in the double digits."

The last two words did me in. Anytime anyone mentions being ten years old, I am instantly taken back to my mom's closet. I am on the phone with my dad, I think before we left to go to school, and it is my tenth birthday. I am telling Dad (probably how mature I think that I am now) that I've hit double digits. I don't remember anything else about that conversation, or even that day for that matter. I just remember the moment when I was discussing how wonderful it was to finally be in the double digits. It could have been the year that I had my birthday party at the Agrirama. Or it could have been the year that I had a spend-the-night party and something hurt my feelings. Being the drama queen that I was, I locked myself in my room. It could have been the year that I wasn't allowed to have a birthday party because my room wasn't clean. (And for those of you who aren't my mom or my sister, this wasn't some mean, abusive stunt that my mom was pulling. My room was ridiculous. I should find and post pictures.) All I know is that I had a conversation that day with my dad about being in the double digits.

Why does it even matter? Because I'm suddenly aware of how important and precious every moment in life is. Becoming a parent is suddenly opening me up to a whole world of worries. Will I be good enough? Will I be patient enough? Will he want to be around us when he's a teenager? The memories are part of the ride. No, I don't remember any other moment of that conversation or that day, but I remember that I talked to my dad and that he was excited that I was excited about being in the double digits. Because as silly as it sounds, that was important to me on that day. I want my kids to look back and remember the good, fun moments. I want to be able to create those for them. Because being in the double digits is a pretty huge deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tear jerker!