When she was little sometimes we would all take a nap together on cold Saturday afternoons. She would hold our hands as she fell asleep and when she woke up she would still be holding them. It was just about the sweetest thing you ever saw.
She also woke up every single morning in full conversation.
“…and then ”
We called her Chatty Hannah. She said “Hi” to her pediatrician when she was just nine months old. And her vocabulary and conversation never stopped.
She loved tie-dye and paisley. Hats were good too. And rules. She never met one she didn’t like. Every family has a sheriff and Hannah was ours.
She kept us running on time.
Loving ideas she challenged ours early on. “Recycling is easy. It is the least we can do Mom. Really. The very least”
Hannah brought us new ideas and experiences from the very beginning. She became a lifelong vegetarian at five years old when she decided she would not eat her animal friends. When she was just about seven or eight I took her and her best friend to a Spice Girls concert. Some mothers had cotton in their ears. Not this one. I was the one lifting them up for a kiss from Baby Spice in the crush of pre-teens at the stage. A few years later she and I flew alone to Florida so she could swim with the dolphins, pet the stingrays and snorkel above some sharks. In a blink she was a Mt Holyoke grad with a good BA and a menu full of choices. These days she is a city girl who lives in a sixth floor walk up on the upper east side of Manhattan with boyfriend Dan, bunny Lulu and her beloved Great Dane puppy Elsie.
She still has that long elegant line, dancer’s legs, and an infectious grin that advertises joy.
And now she is my twenty-four year old grown-up pal who gives calm sound advice and takes mine under consideration with the ease of one who is confident in what she thinks and believes.
How does the happen when the adults in the room are not getting any older?
I yearned for a little girl. She was much wished for and even more loved when she came. And now I know why. We speak to one another most days. Sometimes it’s just a quick update on the crazy lady at the dog park (her) or a diet report (me)
Someone I know calls these dolphin touches. Touch plays an important part in the lives of a pod of dolphins. There is a regular light swim by touch that lets the children know mom and dad are near. And that’s what our texts and calls are. A gentle reminder of mutual love and presence.
Always and no matter what.
Happy Birthday Hannah. I love you more and more and more.