Yesterday, my sweet baby girl, you turned eight.
It's a strange thing to have your youngest hit such a milestone age. With the older kids, you expect (and almost cheer with glee) the passing of ages because it means they are maturing and growing out of difficult phases. Those phases are probably only hard because of the phases that the younger kids are in. Phases that seem loud, incessant, and (at times) life-sucking.
But with the youngest, it's bittersweet because it means that it's the last time you get to experience something, good or bad.
The last kid to learn to ride a bike. The last kid to start school. The last kid to be baptized. The last kid to get a driver's license. The the last kid to go to college. The last kid to get married, have children, and grow old.
Then I die. The end.
Well, not really. But it sure feels like it some days.
Right now, you seem to be testing our boundaries. You have discovered your keen ability to carry on an argument and (JUST LIKE YOUR STUBBORN FATHER. HMMM. WONDER WHERE YOU GET IT FROM?) hate to ever find yourself on the losing end of things. Your intelligence and logic astound me at times, and I shake my head and imagine what courtroom you'll someday unleash your fury on, and for what long shot cause.
Heaven help the world that stands in your way, is all I've got to say.
But deep at your core, you are still the sweetest little pea that ever was born. You have a heart that is always open to those around you. You are so tender. More often than not, I glance your way during a movie and see quiet tears spilling over your rosy cheeks. Whether it's poor Wilbur the Pig or the broken heart of the Phantom of the Opera - you are rooting for the underdog every time. You need them to win and come out okay. Your world makes no sense when people exist in it with sorrow.
I love that about you.
And I thank the good Lord for sending you to me that way.
Hannah, your smile lights up my world. Your laughter fills my soul. You are my angel, my ally, and my bright spot of pink in this life full of gym socks and baseball caps. You make me get up and dance when I'd rather watch. And you help me see that life was meant to be laughed at in all its ironic, beautiful, tragic glory.
I love you, cheeky.