This girl, my Madeleine, is now ten years old. I don't think that's really acceptable, but that's how old the calendar says she is.
I won't retell what's been told; new readers of my blog can find her birth story here.
All readers, though, can delight with me for a moment as I shine the spotlight Madeleine's way.
She is, on the whole, the child who is the most similar to me. This can cause consternation: butting heads, easy irritation with each other's faults and lots of arguing. It also means I know which of my kids will want to sit and read with me, silently, for hours at a time. Or shop with me. Or understands why I need quiet time in the kitchen or in front of computer. She knows, because she has those outlets too. I blog; she writes story upon story in spiral notebooks scattered about the house. Good, interesting and detailed stories they are, too. I cook; she sets up elaborate villages and houses for her dolls. I read; she reads.
Madeleine is now ten, and while the calendar tells me she's one year older than she was two days ago, the date means very little beyond cake, presents and a chance to celebrate Madeleine. I've seen her changing and growing up for months now. She is more mature than she was last year-- taking it upon herself to notice a small child at the park unable to reach the swing and running over the help her climb in, and then, to stand there and gently push the girl. She is becoming more private than she was last year-- she used to regal everyone with every detail about everything that she experienced and thought, now she keeps some things to herself. She is no longer content to be treated like a child; she constantly struggles to be given more freedom but struggles with the how-tos of the freedom when she receives it. She's groping along, figuring out what being somewhere between a little girl and a preteen means, and where she fits.
I know, I'm biased, but I think she's pretty great.