By Shannon Magsam
Have you ever heard of the 10-year rule?
It’s the theory that it takes at least 10 years to be considered an expert in a given field.
I was reminded of that rule today because it’s the 10-year anniversary of my most important job. So naturally, I was thinking to myself, “Does this mean I’m an expert?”
I know her favorite food is pepperoni pizza generously drizzled with ranch dressing.
She got nursemaid’s elbow at 4 when her dad and I were swinging her by the hands to the car.
At age 2, she warned me that a snake was curled up on a nearby rock in the sun.
When she was born, her wispy blonde hair had a patch of pure white that all the nurses swore was evidence that she’d been kissed by an angel.
Her eyes were dark blue until they turned light green.
She wants to bring home every furry animal she meets.
For the first five years, we were a twosome. She was my tiny, funny sidekick.
When she went to kindergarten, I cried in the parking lot.
She just got her first pimple.
Next year she’s headed to middle school.
Today it was pre-tween angst.
Ten years went by so slowly. And, looking back, they went by so very fast.
So, I wonder if the 10-year rule applies. I think I’ve put in the hours. Always on call, even on nights and weekends. I’ve read a library full of parenting books, made some ridiculous parenting mistakes, said I was sorry, demanded an apology. I put my back – and my heart – into this job in a way that I never would have for cash money.
I can safely say I’ve been an embedded reporter.
So am I an expert in this field called motherhood? I don’t think I’ll take the prize. Just like my pregnant belly did 10 years ago, I’ll just keep stretching and growing. I’ll keep learning and unlearning. Laughing and crying. On the job training, fresh every day.
Shannon Magsam is mom to 10-year-old Ladybug, married to Ladybug’s dad, John, and co-creator of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of Life With Ladybug, click here.