Today, one of the coolest people on the planet turns 18. That person is my daughter, Hannah. I’m still having a difficult time wrapping my brain around this kid not being a kid anymore… Seems like only yesterday that this cool kid came into my life.
She came early, but not too early! The doctor told my wife that if she went any longer in the pregnancy that she would need a zipper! Hannah was a big baby! She weighed in at almost 9.5 pounds! Of all the amazing ways that God has blessed me, being a dad will always be near the top.
I will always remember the first time Hannah laughed… I was pushing the kids in a grocery cart while my wife took care of the shopping… Larissa started doing something, I don’t even remember what it was; the next thing I know, Hannah is laughing… hard! She wasn’t even walking yet, but she could laugh with the best of them! In that moment, no one else in that store existed… I stood there, watching, smiling, laughing… wiping a tear from my eye. I firmly believe that God gives us children to give us just a sliver of understanding of just how much he loves us and would lay down his life to save us. I think I fell in love with Hannah’s laugh that day… it’s probably why I still love to tickle her until she cries!
I started calling her the baby-bear… that seemed to fit her. As she grew older, we became increasingly aware of what a non-morning person she was (she gets that from me), so a few years later, we dropped the baby part and just called her “bear”. When she hit her teen years, she begged us to never call her by her nickname in front of people… thankfully, she has gotten over that now. She is one of my favorite people in the world to hang out with.
As she ponders all that lies behind her, and in front of her… I pray that she finds contentment in who God has made her to be; an amazing writer, artist, song writer, guitarist, animal lover… and that no matter what, I love her… I love my baby bear.