Dear Hannah On Your Sixth Birthday
Posted By Joe Cianciotto
I can hardly believe that it was only six years ago today that you entered our lives and changed it forever. I chose to post this picture of us together because I think it captures our relationship and who you are to me.
Of course you have been the reason for the absolute happiest moments in my life and in one breath eclipsed the 38 years that came before you.
That goes without saying.
But you have also been there at my side, to carry me through some of the darkest days of my life as well. And even though I’ll always think of you as this little peanut on the beach with a diaper that outweighs your frame, I also know you have a spirit and a soul bigger than any I have ever seen.
So you’re turning six…what can I tell you?
Your mom and I, knowing how smart you are, just couldn’t see holding you back even though your birthday is so late in the year. So you are definitely quite young for a first grader. That said, I don’t think it has ever stifled you or made you any less of the mayor of whatever room you continue walk in to. One quality you’ve had your entire life, which I greatly admire, is this love of just meeting new people. You spread your warmth and openness with a reckless abandon that sets you apart from most of us. You also have this incredible verve for life, which is as pure as it is infectious. I hope you never lose it.
Ha, one thing…you also have been giving your teachers a bit of a run for their money. So while you may have inherited your mother’s looks, you definitely have my temperament. I wish I could say that it won’t always be a struggle, but unfortunately the mediocrity of academia is just that. Whatever… it’s a small price to pay for not being a lemming.
I almost forgot…you freaking love seafood. Somehow you skipped chicken and went right to calamari, clams, muscles and shrimp. Your mom, being the land-locked Pennsylvanian, won’t touch the stuff, so for the last seventeen years, while she has been a very cheap date, I’ve never had anyone to pig out on seafood with. And the best part is that Sophie digs it just as much as you do… so we’ve started hitting up Mama Theresa’s every Saturday for the last few months to celebrate our collective love for shellfish.
And Sophie. She is your best friend, and even though you and her bicker you’re an amazing big sister. I know at times sharing can be an issue at her age (and yours as well), but you go out of your way to accommodate her and so many times you’ll just give her what you have, because you know it will make her happy. While I would say it’s a byproduct of growing maturity, there is a deep empathy within you that is inherent to your soul. This is a trait that can’t be learned and to watch it grow within you has been a particular joy this past year.
Think that’s all I’ve got for now sweetie. Enjoy your birthday and this next amazing year to come.
Love you more than life itself.
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