Do You Know Hannah?

I know you would expect me to say that I can’t believe Hannah is 13. Instead, I’m saying to myself, I can’t believe Hannah ISN’T 30! You probably expect me to say that I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since Hannah was born. Instead, I’m saying to myself….I can hardly remember a time that Hannah wasn’t a part of my life. The time has flown, no doubt, but it really feels like she’s been here forever-I mean that in the best way.


Hannah seemed like she was 13 when she was 8 or 9. She just got it. She always has. She gets it, even now. When something is off with her or someone else, she knows it.

Hannah has an enviable joyfulness about her. She just enjoys and appreciates things-whether it’s a really good piece of cake, a new hoodie or a funny joke.

For a kid who craves time completely by herself, she has an incredible ease with anyone. She makes friends very easily and when she does, the new friends’ parents usually comment about what a great kid she is. I know it but I really don’t take credit for it, she really was just born that way. EASY!

She’s a jack-of-all trades, this one. Hannah will try anything and typically excels. I remember when our music director at church wanted to have kids sing during Easter. Only one other kid signed up and I figured they would cancel it. Hannah had almost no singing experience and basically would be singing every song solo because the other little boy whispered. I was horrified that she was putting herself out there and my instinct was to graciously suggest that they skip it that year. Hannah wasn’t fazed or intimidated one bit-belted it out and knocked it out of the park.

Hannah’s becoming quite the photographer, photo-shop-er, guitar player and baker. Most of it is self-taught.

I don’t want to embarrass her by mentioning how amazed and impressed I always am by her art and writing. I could go on and on about it but then I would be the insufferable parent going on and on about her kids’ talent. Drawing is just a part of her. When she was too old for naps and started quiet time instead, she would spend the whole time drawing. Then at night, she’d spend an hour or so before she fell asleep drawing some more. She’s figured things out like dimension, perspective, motion and shading all on her own at a very young age. She liked to draw the same thing and would have phases. One of my favorite phases is when she’d draw girls sleeping under their covers. She’d draw the little bumps under the blankets, the closed eyes, braids sticking out, whatever.

Friends and relatives keep warning me about adolescence but honestly, I don’t anticipate much rebellion from Hannah. I look forward to navigating this time with her. I enjoy her company so much and love the talks we have.

Hannah’s the kind of big sister that I wish I always had (I have 4 brothers-no sisters). She recently said she wished she had a big brother-I understand and I told her it was great. The others kids will know some day how lucky they are to have a big sister like her

Happy Birthday Hannah (I won’t use my old nickname for you-do you remember it?).

Sorry some of the photos are blurry but my camera isn’t the greatest and some just capture her in spite of the pixels.
(Oh, and if you noticed there are a lot more photos of Hannah than the other kids, you’re correct. This child was THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED KID ON THE PLANET! I have ALBUMS of photos in her first year. I shudder to think of how much money I spent on film and photo processing before digital cameras became affordable. I need to consider hiding all the albums before the other kids realize how many more photos there are of Hannah.)

Love you so much, Hannah!

Happy Birthday!

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