Sometimes, pictures make me sad. I realize that this picture of our oldest daughter should not make me sad but the fact of the matter is that it does. Why, you ask? Well, she is officially 8 years old and it is hard to imagine that she has grown up so quickly.
Last night, I sent this picture to my family and my father replied with a journal entry that he had written about her when she was about 18 months old, after my sister and I had taken her with us on a trip to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. It reads as follows:
“My dear little one you are growing fast. You just came back from Mexico. Your mom and your aunt took you. They tell us that you were not really interested in the water. It was only on the last day or so that you decided to go with your aunt and brave those waves. While down there you held a monkey. The monkey also took your chip. There are pictures of that.
The other night you brought over a bucket of popcorn and started talking to me. I knew that you wanted me to pick you up but your grandma understood that you also wanted me to open the popcorn. So I picked you up and open the popcorn bucket. You took out a piece of popcorn and put it in my mouth. I then took a piece of popcorn and put it in your mouth. This went on for about 10 minutes. You did not allow anyone else to interfere in this event.
Everyone adores you. Your uncles want to just hold you and dance with you. Your aunt is very special. She teaches you lots of things and she really treats you like a person. Your grandma is your favorite. You two get along great. You and your mom are showing typical mother and daughter trends: love and discipline. As for me, I just let you be Hanna. You are pretty special. You have a great heart. ”
And there you have it. In 7 years, nothing has changed. She is still amazing and wonderful in all of the ways that a parent hopes their child will be. Her father and I (and her siblings) are so, so blessed to have her, so today I will smile.
Today I will not be sad because she is a gift and I am so lucky to be able to watch her grow up.