{ Monday, December 30, 2002 }

Inner Ridiculous Ten Year Old.

I got a letter in the mail today! My only Christmas Card! I didn't send any Christmas Cards either, so I'm not pointing fingers at anyone for not sending me one.

It was from a camper. One of my favorites. One of Shelly and LB's all time personal favorite's. I couldn't remember how old she would be now, fifteen? sixteen? somewhere in there. Anyway, it was really cute... asking me what I'd been up to since I'd left "Never, never land" (I know the way, but I wonder if I can still fly?)... I wrote back, a nice long chatty note on my pink embossed stationary... about macrame' and karaoke and the trip to California...

I loved living with ten year old girls. Because at ten, you're not so jaded. Ten is an age when you're able to converse intelligently about most things and can take care of yourself. I had several ten year old campers who were more on top of it than I was. The ones who'd wake me up and say "Now, mary ann, we have to go to crafts in ten minutes. You should get up. The first aid pouch and inhalers are on top of your backpack."... Ten and eleven year old girls are cool. They really are. They are their own little person with her own little opinions, but they're still children.

It's an age when you still want to play. Ten and eleven year old girls want to wear skirts and have their hair fixed into pigtails (I once tried to figure it up... I put in approximately 500 pairs of french braided pigtails in my five summers as a counselor) or messy ponytails (with no lumps of course!). They also want to play in the creek and get dirty and make crafts and shoot archery. At ten you're not worried about the connotations of being feminine. There's no "too girly" or "not girly enough" when you're with your eleven girl cabinmates and big girl camp counselor. Whatever you do is just girly enough, obviously.

The other thing about that age is that they're nice. Middle school hasn't polluted them yet. I mean, there's squabbling and cattiness like at any age when you're living in a wooden box with fifteen other people. But they still respect authority and want to be your friend. Ten and eleven year old girls are usually just nice to each other. Because that's how you should be.

The perfect moment in my mind of what's wonderful about being ten was watching a girl in a dress and too-big pumps kicking ass in soccer. By the next summer, she'd been to middle school and she'd found out how beautiful she is and she changed. She didn't want to get dirty or beat a bunch of boys at sports...

Anyway, the kids who remain my favorites are the ones who don't let go of that ten-year-old girl inside of them. They are still nice, and respectful and responsible and not afraid of the silly regardless of if it's playing in a creek or putting on a cute dress.

Maybe that doesn't make any sense. It does to me. And I think I need more silly in my life. That's something I miss about Waste and all my camp friends who aren't near me really. Camp counselors know how to make with the silly and they aren't afraid to do so. I'm all about my innerneuroticfifteenyearold, but I think I need to be in better touch with my innerridiculoustenyearold.

[I am now quite certain that I am about to get google hits from poor people looking for porn starring ten year old girls kicking ass.]

posted by mary ann 3:41 PM