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Today is my daughter’s tenth birthday.

Over the years as I’ve been watching my little girl grow up, I’ve wondered what will it be, the thing she grows out of or lifestage she passes that will make me feel the poignant pangs of what I hate to call loss, but is that wistful emotion that goes with songs like Waltz for Debby and Puff the Magic Dragon or those moments in children’s movies that end with the magical nanny or angel taking off because the kids don’t need them any more? So far I’ve held up pretty well with cheering on her advances and not feeling sad when she moves on from a youthful past time. It seems healthy to acknowledge each stage has had a pretty good run and that we’ve given it its proper due so that we’re all ready to move on.

That being said, I think it’s gonna kill me when it comes time to pack up our assortment of ‘kid plates.’ Their cute, whimsical patterns on their own special shelf in the cupboard they just say childhood, don’t they? From the beginning, they made mealtime fun when eating was more of a recreational sport for kids. And the attachment to a favorite bowl could rival an attachment to a stuffed animal or blanket. Now, they just serve as a good reminder to keep life fun and a little kicky at every meal – even if we are over Hello Kitty in the general sense. She’s still got a place at the table. I have no plans to get rid of the kid plates yet, no no. I’m guessing we probably have a little time before she says they embarrass her – and I’ve got a good excuse as younger cousins come over and use them, phew! Luckily, my girl is a bit sentimental too.

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