We’re leaving behind an era.  The (somewhat) carefree days of having a single-digit child in the house have come to an end.

Bear’s turning ten today.

Okay, some of you might be saying whoop-de-whoop (sure, that’s a real saying), but I do consider this a milestone for my little one.

For example…

Until Bear becomes a centurion, every birthday from now on will be a two-digit one.  When I pointed out this nugget of trivia, Bear responded with “If I live that long.”  That’s my pragmatic girl.  Bless.

We’ve lost even the pretense of having a little girl in the family.  Sure, one might argue that disappeared once hips came on the scene, but combine that with being ten and we are for real real heading into tween territory.  Bear will always be our baby, but there’s no denying the reality that is Hormonal Swings anymore.

Hitting the two-digit mark sets in motion the chain of Big Deal Moments.  Bear’s last year in elementary school.  Her move into middle school.  Her first boyfriend.  The shock of moving from driver’s permit into licensed driver…I can’t even see beyond that into the high school/college thing.  My brain simply won’t go there.

As has been said by countless mothers before me, I cannot fathom how we got here.  It feels like I was just holding that tiny swaddled baby, madly in love with her and desperate to be a good mom.  How on earth did we speed from onesies and baby bags to body image and girl drama in the blink of an eye?

The days are long, but the years are short.

There were days when I was sleep deprived and low on patience, and I didn’t think I could stand listening to one more insipid children’s song…and in all honesty, those were the days I wanted to punch someone in the nose for saying this to me.

But it is oh so true.

Happy birthday, Bear.  We love you to the moon and back.