This is 10

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

This not-so-little-anymore person turned ten this week, and spent her birthday at the hospital, waiting for word on whether her great aunt had survived a massive stroke. 

From the in utero loss of her twin and my father's sudden passing, to my mom's medical scares and my aunt's uphill battle, this angel child knows far more about life, death and survival than most others her age. 

When she was born, I wanted to shield my daughter from the frightening realities of the world. 

But life is what happens when you're making other plans. 

In spite of everything, my 10 year old still finds joy in little things, plays like a trooper, laughs with her friends, dances like no one is watching and is excited to see the sun rise each day. 

She is my joyous old soul. 

And I want to be just like her when I grow up.

No, really.

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