The number ten has been running around my mind lately. I suppose it wouldn’t be such a big deal if we humans didn’t have five digits on each hand. Our world is categorized by tens– our lives are described in phases of tens–by the 20’s, the 30’s, and so on. Music is grouped by eras of decades. The first achievement in numbers for a small child is learning to count to ten on his/her own. Ten is more than just a number, it is a symbol of sorts. And my Big Girl is there already, ten years old. Being ten means most things are on auto-pilot. No need to help in the bathroom with potty training, bathing or toothbrushing. It means a higher level of independence for child, and a bit more space for mom. But nobody told me how amazed I would be at this seemingly abstract number, a symbol of the years gone by—it symbolizes the development within the child, and between the child and mother, a relationship that lasts forever. I am constantly taken by surprise by my Big Girl. Her intelligence keeps me on my toes, her beauty takes my breath away, and her empathy for the world breaks my heart. If all people were more like my daughter, I believe the world really would be a better place. I am so thankful that I chose to have my first child, amidst uncertainty and chaos, because I have learned so much from her, not only about life, but also about myself. Happy Birthday, Big Girl! I love you.