Tomorrow, my first granddaughter will be 10 years old! Tenth birthdays were major events in my family. I’ve spent the last few weeks remembering why.
My mom grew up loving the Betsy-Tacy books by Minnesota author, Maud Hart Lovelace. The series started when Betsy and Tacy were five years old, sitting on a bench eating supper together. Over the next couple of books, they grew and added a new friend, named Tib.
By the time readers reach Betsy & Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, the girls are excited to be turning 10 and having two numbers in their age.
I grew up loving them, too.
No doubt this story became part of our family story.
Then, there was our dear friend, Maggi, who bought my sister and me rings with our birthstones when we turned ten.
Other than a long parade of Timex Mickey Mouse watches that always quit working for me, that birthstone ring was my first piece of jewelry. (Supposedly the thing with the watches is some kind of magnetic deal I don’t quite understand.)
I loved that ring. In fact, I still have it! The stone is chipped. The setting, which must have been stretched somewhere along the line, is all bent out of shape. And still it sits in my jewelry box, a reminder of a time when it made me feel special and affirmed.
We had lots of adventures, that ring and I.
Like the time I hid it in my luggage, the first summer I went to camp, because Mom said I had to leave it at home and I wanted to take it along, rather like Linus wants to take his blanket.
Then there was the time when I was five or six (or 14!) months pregnant and had just filed for divorce. For reasons I can’t quite recall, I went with my folks to the homecoming game at our High School. Not wanting to answer any questions, I slipped my birthstone friend, turned backwards, on the finger where there had once been a wedding band.
Those were different times.
In this time, though, I wanted a birthday gift for Kenzie that she might enjoy now and perhaps be reminded of how much she’s loved in the future.
I settled on a charm necklace. She likes fancy!
First, a charm with two owls. She and I have a thing about owls.
Then, the birthstone.
This is, apparently, not the season for birthstone buying. I had lots of trouble finding just the right thing.
Finally, I realized that the right thing was hanging around my own neck on a charm holder where I’ve been wearing both girls’ birthstones and initials for a while.
It should be there for her by now, along with her very own copy of Betsy & Tacy Go Over the Big Hill.
She may be a bit older before she learns to appreciate the nostalgia of my dear friends, Betsy and Tacy. I mean, Harry Potter they’re not.
That’s ok. I’m pretty sure the necklace will be a hit.
I’m very sure she knows we love her, which is about as good as it gets!
And, tucked away in my jewelery box with my special ring is another birthstone all ready for the next time we have someone turning ten.
I suspect Mom and Maggi would be pleased.