daddy's little girl

Hannah, oh Hannah. I looked at you today and realized that you are growing up - right before my eyes. It seems like just yesterday that we found out the surprising [read terrifyingly panicked] news that you would be joining our family. But the minute we saw your tiny arms and legs kicking around on the ultrasound, I knew it would be okay. And every day since then, it's been more than okay - it's been fantastic.

You are still little enough that you say some of your words wrong - words like fink (think); free (three); busketti (spaghetti); and sum-ping (something). McKay tries to correct you, and every time I stop him. I don't want to lose that last little baby in you. I'm not ready to give you up just yet. I know it's coming - and far too quickly - but I'm just not willing to let it be accelerated by anything.

Sometimes you startle me with the articulate way in which you ponder the everyday. Like tonight when you matter-of-factly lifted up your nightgown, pointed south, and told me, "That's where babies come out." How you figured that out, I'll never know - BECAUSE I'VE AVOIDED THAT TOPIC LIKE IT WAS A TOXIC POISON. But that's you - just tell it like it is. You have the ability to observe, analyze, and process life in such a way that is well beyond your years. I truly believe you are an old soul.

It makes me laugh sometimes when you make Daddy work for your affection. It's kind of like you've already got men all figured out - and you know you can use your charm to make them come to you. But you are in reality putty in his hand - it's him you seek when you come screaming after you see a bee or find a spider.

You are sensitive - OH, THE SENSITIVITY. But with that comes a heart so big, so full of love that it gets us through the tough girl moments. You have helped us all see the world from your eyes, which has brought a good balance to this house full of rough boys. You have become my ally, my partner in crime, my teammate. You are my tiny, talking shadow - following me from the early morning to bedtime at night. I know I will miss your constant chatter this year when you go to school. I will miss each baby part of you that disappears as you grow. And although I can't wait to love and cherish the girl you are becoming, I will always long for my baby girl. And until every last bit of baby is gone, I promise to treasure those thousand little pieces that make you who you are. I love you, little chica.