My oldest child just turned 10 years old. Imaginative as she is creative, I rarely have to offer ideas on, well, much of anything. She is always coming up with things I would never think of to make and do. I am continually surprised by her unique ambitions and initiatives.
Just when I’m amazed that she got up and made us all breakfast, on her own, without burning the house down, I find perfect heart-shaped cheese gracing my eggs. By the time I realize she has taught herself how to knit from youtube videos, I receive a home made scarf and she tells me she’s made one for her friend, too. I bought her a rainbow loom and she followed a likely 807 step video that someone produced rubber band made Elsa, our dog, an owl, a unicorn for her sister, flowers, etc. She can hang with Bob Ross and she wishes someone would just let her teach a paint and sip already.
Needless to say, birthdays are always interesting. When she was 6 or 7, she wanted an Asian party. We ate Chinese food, she wore a kimono, taught origami to her friends, and insisted the cake be written with characters rather than letters. Another time we had a karaoke party. This year she said she just wanted to shop with her friends.
Ok, daughter. How do I give you a shopping birthday? I guess we go to the “big mall” (as she calls it) and spend Daddy’s money. Yeah, so this is definitely something I would have picked if I were thinking outside the box when I was 10.
Let me just tell you some things about our shopping birthday party, folks. It was not really what I expected.
Mia brought two friends along with us. The first place we stopped was at the convenient store. Daddy just couldn’t wait to hand them a $100 bill and tell them to, “Get whatever you want.”
Do you know what we walked out with? Three slushies – one for each girl. That is all. No piles of candy. No goofy key chains or celebrity inspired sunglasses. Not even a bag of Doritos. “Weird,” I thought.
On to the mall. As surprised as I was about the one slushie each episode, I was even more surprised that their self-control continued throughout the entire trip. They bought a few necklaces and bracelets at the novelty store, always carefully checking prices. Mia bought flower ribbons for her hair and a bracelet for her sister. When the cashier told them they were being given free pearl-like necklaces with their purchases, the girls immediately announced how happy they were to have something to give to Mom for Mother’s Day.
They looked around some more. They spent forever in “Justice.” Mia wanted a canopy to put over her bed. When I told her it wouldn’t work with her top bunk, she didn’t whine or argue. She looked around some more. All in all, they really only bought a very few small things. They were more excited to see Bath and Body Works and look for more things their moms might like.
We ate too spicy Chinese and the girls got overpriced pedicures before we left.
I realized that my 10 year old and her friends are more mature than I gave them credit for. Somewhere along this short way, these girls have learned to self govern. Growing up in a world full of adults and children who grossly lack this skill, I am thankful. They have respect, responsibility, and regard for others. Where I thought they would be greedy, they were thoughtful. Where I thought they would be out of control, they were self-controlled. If I am honest, I don’t think I’d split my birthday money among my friends. I’m pretty certain I’d choose to shop alone! I guess Mia gets the generous gene from her Dad.
There really never is a dull moment with Mia. There never has been. She is always full of fun surprises. I couldn’t be more proud of the one who called me “Mommy” first.