X My Daughter is 10! X

A decade.

A decade has passed since I felt the excitement of the unknown of becoming a mom.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade filled with turning over, first steps, first words, sleepless nights.

A decade of passing along clothes too small that I never thought would fit you.

A decade of not knowing if I’d ever sleep again to having to wake you up for school in the morning.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of having you grow inside of me, being attached to my chest, attached to my hip, holding my hand, going off to school, waving to you on a bus, sleeping at a friend’s house, to going to sleep away camp for a week.

A decade of Music Together class, ballet class, gymnastic class, acting class, art class, piano and violin lessons.

A decade of wearing you, holding you, pushing you in a stroller, strapping you into your car seat, sitting in a 3rd row in someone else’s car.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of you in an infant carrier, rear facing seat, front facing seat, high back booster, backless booster, nothing at all.

A decade of a bassinet, crib, toddler bed, big girl bed, top bunk bed, sleeping bag at someone else’s house.

A decade of some of the same exact friends because we are very, very lucky.

A decade of Dora, Doc McStuffins, Ninja Turtles, Harry Potter and Hamilton.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of no teeth, some teeth, falling out teeth, a palate expander, impending braces.

A decade of me dressing you, me helping you dress you, you coming down to breakfast dressed on your own with a great sense of style.

A decade of feeding you custom made milk, to baby food, to finger food, to solid food, to take out food, to the guacamole you now make for me.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of putting circle stickers in a line to sewing on a machine unsupervised and giving handmade gifts to family and friends.

A decade of you taking your first step, first jump to roller blading and riding your bicycle around our court.

A decade of reading books to you and you reading the books you’ve written to me.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of brushing your beautiful bleach blond hair to dark blond hair to dirty blond hair.

A decade of laundry folded with the sizes progressively getting bigger until it reached a size that fits both of us.

A decade of museum & library visits and beach vacations.

A decade of filling our days with activities with endless hours to spare to rushing to after school activities in the little time we have now.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade.
A decade!

A decade of snuggling and cuddling.
A decade of laughing and crying.
A decade of talking and talking and talking and talking.
A decade of special moments we shared.
A decade of boo-boos kissed.
A decade of secret handshakes.
A decade of waiting on lines together for roller coasters.
A decade of making art together.
A decade of walks together.
A decade of going out to dinner together.
A decade of Mommy – Daughter Day’s together.
A decade of you trying to stay up “5 minutes more”.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
A decade of absolute shining pride at the person you are and the person you’re becoming
every.
single.
day.

Five years ago I wrote a piece to you on your fifth birthday. I said five was the turning point from being a little kid to becoming a big kid. I couldn’t believe you were five. Now I can’t believe you are TEN!

TEN!

DOUBLE DIGITS!

If five was a big kid what is 10? Don’t make me say a “tween”.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama
You had promise then.
You have now officially evolved into the dream I always had for a daughter.
The partner in crime always up for anything.
The companion who I can drag anywhere, at any time, to do and try anything.

At five I feared the things for you I knew were coming. They came. They’re here. They suck. But you hold your head high and you act like a lady, which is all we could ask. You know how to behave and how to laugh at absurdity. You know who is a real friend and who is not. You are simply amazing.

You encourage me to be a better person. You cheerlead everyone in our family. You are kind and funny and sweet and smart as a whip. You have a busier social life than most adults I know. You are the person that I – and everyone – wants to be with because you are you.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mam’s
You asked us if you could stay home today to celebrate your birthday with us. You presented us with a petition that you wrangled three dozen classmates, plus parents & teachers to sign. You cracked us up. But this is you. You give 150%. You put your mind to something, and you get what you want. We joked you needed to get it notarized, and I have no doubt – if we were serious – you’d find a way. Little did you know there was no way we’d let you be anywhere today except with us celebrating YOU and the decade we’ve had together.

You want to spend today, your birthday, in Manhattan (your first home) doing all the things we used to do when you were small and we lived here. You remember. It was all worth it.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the first five year went. I can’t believe how quickly the last five years went.

10.

10.

TEN!!!

Happy birthday Becca Bear.

Happy birthday to my baby girl – who people used to think was a preemie boy.

Happy birthday to my girl who hates pink and dolls and loves reading and sports.

Happy birthday to my girl who – for her 10th birthday – is donating her hair today because she wants to be someone who helps repair the world. We’re doing it together at the place I donated my hair when I was pregnant with you ten years ago.

Happy 10th birthday to my daughter Rebecca who has made each and every day in the last decade worth getting out of bed in the morning.

X My Daughter is 10! X - The Mint Chip Mama

My love for you continues to grow as I see what you do, who you are, what you stand for and what you believe in. When you laugh from your belly or help one of your brothers. When a teacher calls to say you are funny and smart. When I see your art work, hear you play the violin or piano, or listen to a story or poem you wrote.

Thank you for the last decade.
Thank you for picking me to be your mom.

Published by The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (10, 6, and 4). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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