Dear Hannah, today you are 4!
Every birthday I write you a little note, with the hope that one day, you’ll have a letter for every year of your life. Of course, there are enough stories on this wee blog to keep you going for years, but once a year I like to reflect on the wonder that is you.
I still can’t believe you are 4, one day you were here:
And the next you are here:
Still blows my mind! This last year has seen you move from a toddler to a real little girl. You are officially done with baby things, I had to dig in the top of your cupboard last week, where the last of your baby treasures are stored to get some books for your brother – he is learning to read and the baby books are proving very useful for this purpose. But there, I also found all your little things from your babyhood. And again, it struck me how fast you’ve grown. That you can articulate yourself perfectly, that we can sit down and talk about things, that you can reason with me and challenge my thinking – I love all these things!
So what did you do for your 4th birthday? We had your cousins and some friends over for lunch yesterday, you helped me ice your princess cake, you helped me set the table and make sure everything was ready for your visitors. You had a bit of a sore throat which you complained endlessly about – except when the visitors were there, you were miraculously healed just for those hours, and then as soon as they left, you went back to “being sick.” You opened your gifts with such delight, which is always a nerve wracking moment for parents – opening gifts in front of the person who gave it to you doesn’t always end well when you’re 4 years old. But you were gracious and loved every gift you received.
Today you took cake and cupcakes to school, you were so excited to wear the birthday crown and to show off your Barbie necklace. I let you eat cake for supper and breakfast, and this was positively the best thing about your birthday.
So what does 4 year old Hannah like? You like playing with your brother best. At 4, he is still your best friend, you guys fight like best friends too though. You have a really healthy appetite and you eat anything and everything. You love to peel the “skin” off fish fingers and chicken nuggets which drives me batty. Your favourite sandwich is still bread and butter. Yes, just bread and just butter. After your father, you drink the most water in the house. You prefer water to juice, who’s child ARE you? You tuck you shirt into your bottoms habitually. Even if you’re wearing tights, you tuck that t shirt right in there. Even if it’s a thick jersey, you make sure it is stuffed into your bottoms. And then you can’t pick stuff off the floor because when you bend and your top slips out of your bottoms, it freaks you out in the worst way. Funny little quirk, that. You love to write and doodle. You make the craziest little drawings and explain them with such conviction, I have to look really hard to make sure we are looking at the same thing. You still love your sleep, and even though we’ve dropped your day time nap, you still enjoy sneaking one in if you can. You are doing really well at school, and not that it matters, but you’ve never been called out for bad behaviour, you’ve never been sent to see the principal. Any anyway, I think if you found yourself in the principal’s office, you’d talk your way out of it quite sweetly. You started wearing dresses this year. I can’t tell you how much this pleased me. Again, ultimately I don’t care what you wear, as long as you are happy, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like to see my little girl in a pretty dress every now and again. You learned to tie your own shoe laces, and this made you all kinds of happy. You started reciting real life poetry and this made ME all kinds of happy. You learned to hula hoop, to make your own bed, and you started doing real chores around the house – which you LOVE, I might add. For now, I guess I must add. You continue to sweet talk your daddy into just about anything. Seriously. Things I have tried for years to get him to do, you get him to do by jumping on his lap (and I’ve tried that, it doesn’t quite have the same effect). You started wearing alice bands and head bands, quite out of the blue. I love how you are slowly embracing your femininity, not because you MUST but because being a girl is SO SUPER COOL! You took part in your first concert with an audience and you CRIED. But you were the cutest crying giraffe I had ever seen. You’ve grown in leaps and bounds, physically you’ve outgrown your clothes in less than a season. Your legs are dangly and skinny. And you still have a pot belly 🙂 It’s cute, I love it! But you’ve grown mentally and emotionally and I think this is the part I love the best. You are still the sweetest, kindest, most tender little thing and you have this maturity about you that surprises even me. While you are still really good at throwing the odd tantrum, they’ve become less and less as you’ve learned to deal with the fact that you can’t always get your own way and sometimes things don’t always go as planned and you have to suck it up and carry on. And this is the part that makes me all kinds of happy/sad – happy that you’re growing but sad because the ends of tantrums signals the end of babyhood, doesn’t it? And I will forever miss my darling baby Hannah, and the only thing that makes that better is that I have delightful big girl Hannah to enjoy.
My wish for you dear daughter is that you will quickly find your path, that you will quickly discover the things that make you happy. And then pursue those things. You were a beautiful surprise to me, and I pray that many beautiful surprises await you. My hope is that you will strive to be the best that you can, at whatever you undertake. And to know that your best is good enough. More than anything I hope you know how much I love you, not only now while you still need me, but forever. I hope you understand that I would do anything for you, that you and I will be best friends forever, even if we do have to fight like best friends sometimes do. You are the perfect daughter for me, you are everything I’ve hoped for. There is nothing that could make you any more or any less perfect that you are right now. Happy birthday sweet girl! From now until eternity, yours. Xxx