Dear Hannah on your eighth birthday
Posted by Joe Cianciotto
Happy birthday sweetheart!
How is it that you are eight years old?
Curiously enough I am sitting on a chair in your grandparent’s basement writing this letter to you. You were so excited that your birthday was on Thanksgiving this year, you didn’t want to waste any of it on the road, so you had use drive out to Pennsylvania last night so you could wake up and start the festivities the minute you opened your eyes. Funny side note, we left late last night so you and Sophie were asleep in the car for most of the trip until at the very moment it literally hit midnight you woke up and screamed, “It’s My Birthday!”
That’s one of the great things about you that has never waned all these years, you have this infectious enthusiasm for all that matters to you in your life. And what matters to you most is your family and your friends. You still grab your sister Sophie and hug her like she’s been gone for a week every day she comes home from school. You insist on Facetiming with your cousin Audrey like three times a day and every single faculty member at your school (from the teachers, to the bus driver, to the custodians) know all about your little cousins Brook and Sylvie who were born this year.
As another year passes I get this amazing opportunity to watch you grow into a confident, accomplished beautiful young girl. While you still love your LOL dolls you’ve traded a good chunk of your cartoons for grown-up movies like Descendants and the Greatest Showman. I realize you are a good five years away from becoming a teenager but I see so much of that growing within you now.
You continue to teach me how to be a better person every day in the little things you do. I have never heard you say a bad word or a negative thing about anyone and you do not tolerate that behavior in others. You’ve corrected me on many of an occasion when I have given into my own pettiness and reminded me to see the best in others, even when it’s more convenient not to. I know kids at your age can be cruel at times and to see nothing but kindness within you melts my heart.
Here are just some rapid fire random observations about you now that you’re eight years old. Here goes… It does seem like you are old enough for me to actually embarrass you, which I have to admit I do enjoy. Your best friend in school is your pal Nell who is young for her grade like you. You probably eat a half a pint of ice cream every night. According to your third grade teacher, each morning you go the long way to get to class just so you can say hello to your second grade teacher a floor below. You’re not above ripping out a loose tooth if you think you can get some coin from the tooth Fairy. Even though you each have your own room, Sophie sleeps with you in your bed…although you both end up in our bed most nights anyway. You like to create bookmarks for everyone in the family and are always making crafts for the house. Somehow my phobia of ticks has somehow passed on to you. And of course you know how to enjoy your birthday like no one I have ever seen.
Looking forward to another year with you in our life and all the joy that you bring us.
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