I remember being ten and having my first crush. His class was upstairs, and every morning he would walk down the stairs in his blazer. The big parking lot seemed like it moved in slow motion. I remember staring at his caramel hair, though that's not what I called it then. I just liked the way it moved in the breeze and when he laughed with his friends.
I remember being ten and having my birthday party feel like my goodbye party, because that's what it was. We invited people I liked during the few years at that school, and we ice-skated for hours. I remember the cold and I remember my outfit, skating to the edge.
I remember being ten and watching my grandmother cry, and not being sure why I wasn't sad too. I don't remember being saddened by someone's tears before that afternoon. I was confused and heartbroken for her. I remember my soft, green tracksuit that we picked out especially for that day.
I remember a snow globe with my cousin's face in it, a photo we took that day at the airport. I have that snowglobe in my cupboard now. On a shelf with my sequin berets and cupcake-jar of rings. On the other side of the snow globe is a picture of my cat. The one my aunt's looked after while we lived overseas, and never gave back when we came home.
I remember being ten and walking home from the grocery store, down a main road that felt more open than any place I'd been before. We went to the biggest toy store that day, and I saw hundreds of different dolls. It was giant and full; high walls and loud noises. In the street, I would have believed the world was empty except for us. Like those scenes from movies about the end of the world.
I remember being ten and waking up cold, on a blue fold-up mattress. Walking across soft carpets that, if I dragged my socks across them, would give me a shock on my parents' bedroom door handle. The kitchen was too-bright and too-cold but the Oreo cereal was exciting every day.
I was ten when I had my first White Christmas. The adults went for a walk in the icy streets. My mom's red coat always kept her warm. I showed a very clever boy my new purple gift. He's a man now, with a wife and a job in computers. I remember my velvet dress and my mom whispering angrily, that I should offer to help. I told my imaginary friends why that hurt my feelings. The reasons are still the same today.
I remember being ten and sitting in class, trying to memorize it all. Wanting to be perfect so the moments would last as long as they could. I colored in brightly, and jumped as high as I could even though sports wasn't something I liked or was good at. I examined plants and spent hours choosing the best stationery.
I remember my Harry Potter backpack and the cinema where we watched the first movie. I bought the TV guide that week because Hermione was on the cover. I was ten years old and so we they, but their photographs were in glossy magazines and their laughter was on the Internet. I learned the different types of British accent by staying up late listening to their interviews.
The most magical memory of being ten, I will keep in my heart so it's always safe. We walked through autumn leaves and they danced around us like fairies. I was ten and I knew everything would be okay.