On Turning Ten: Then & Now

tenth birthday cake
tenth birthday cake (Photo credit: normanack)

I’m writing on the eve of kid one’s tenth birthday. Here come days of double digits and no doubt new worries as my complex soup of a girl continues to grow. I look forward to the frantic days ahead, but want to mellow out in the milestone first.

Ten. My favourite age. It’s still my favourite number.

And because I’m not the kind of smug adult who believes my music was superior to the “crap the kids are playing today”, I’m looking forward to the soundtrack too.

There’s much joy in being ten. And my parents felt about Blondie the way I feel about Kesha. Pop music – it is what it is, a vehicle for dancing and in our house morning sing-a-longs.

Here’s what was on top when I was ten.

1. My Sharona, The Knack
2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer 
3. Le Freak, Chic 
4. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Rod Stewart
5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb 
6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer 
8. Y.M.C.A., Village People 
9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward 
10. Sad Eyes, Robert John 
11. Too Much Heaven, The Bee Gees 
12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer
13. When You’re In Love With a Beautiful Woman, Dr Hook
14. Makin’ It, David Naughton
15. Fire, Pointer Sisters
16. Tragedy, The Bee Gees 
17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John 
18. Heart of Glass, Blondie 
19. What a Fool Believes, The Doobie Brothers 
20. Good Times, Chic 
21. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond 
22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart       So Kesha is Blondie, Carley Rae Jepsen is Olivia Newton John and Rhianna is Donna Summer. Or Niki Minage. Whatever, you get the point.I had three girls to my party when I was ten. We rode in the back of the pickup to the Mackenzie River for a picnic. I was given a record player that ran on batteries. It had a microphone. I remember thinking about my brother in his brown leather jacket and how much of a teenager he was starting to look like. I also remember laughing a lot.I was lucky enough to have great pals despite my intense Lucy complex. One was the Anglican minister’s daughter. She was all sweetness and light. The other was a girl whose parents considered her a child protege in every way. (I remember being grateful my parents weren’t so pushy). Last I heard she was working in a post office. I have no idea where the athletic auburn-haired army brat with a face full of freckles ended up. I loved that her parents let me sleep over often. We’d sing to records all night. She had the best pony tails.

My daughter struggles more socially than I did, but is surrounded by warm, wonderful girls and boys who share her verve for life. She also laughs a lot.

I was in dance club, Girl Guides, figure skating and often helped in the school library. I read early and often and by ten was deep into Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. I was reading “The Hobbit” for the first time. My daughter favours graphic novels about girls with braces and guitars. She plays instruments, dances, and loves Girl Guides more than I did. She may also have a Lucy complex. Her clipboard is her favourite toy. We don’t discourage. it.

Being ten is big. You assert yourself but still come in for a snuggle with mom when the mood strikes.

It is the age of the ultimate giggle.

I still giggle. Thankfully my parents didn’t discourage that.

Life is long. And if you take it too seriously, labourious. That is why ten remains my favourite age.

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