Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sixteen Candles

Yesterday, Hannah turned 16. Usually we don't get to celebrate her birthday as a family. In fact, since the year she turned 12, Hannah has spent her birthday at Falls Creek. This year, however, our group happened to be coming home from camp on her birthday.
Hannah and I celebrated her birthday in style a week and a half ago when I took her to OKC for a spa day and shopping. That trip is a whole blog in and of itself. But last night we had a family celebration. Before leaving for camp, I had Hannah choose a menu for her birthday dinner and only hours after coming home from Creek Week, she was sitting down to manicotti, Cesar salad, and garlic bread. Afterward we had pineapple upside down cake (her favorite) and she opened cards and gifts. The highlight of the evening was when she couldn't get her Kamik box open...I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks and snapped picture after picture while she insulted me in French (ahhh, the wonders of an honors education).
It doesn't seem possible that my Hannah is 16. Can it possibly be that long ago that we were meeting her for the first time, transfixed by her beauty? I remember the amazement that filled me...this child was her own person, someone completely separate from me, but entrusted to me by God. What was He thinking? I used to cry as I imagined all of the ways that I must be "ruining" her. What an awesome responsibility parenting is, but what a joy! We have come so far from the day she was born, but some things remain the same. The day we brought her home from the hospital, Jason drove 15 miles an hour the whole way while I cried in the backseat next to our very new baby girl. I kept thinking, "I can't believe they just let us take her home...what are they thinking? We don't know anything about babies!" Sixteen years later, I'm still crying and frightened as I sit in the car next to my daughter....but it's because she's driving.


Dawn said...

That's why Les did most of the teaching! I couldn't quit sucking air and gasping! And I about wore a hole through the floor board! Hannah's a beautiful sixteen year old!

Janell said...

OMG! I can't believe she's already 16!!! You both have done an awesome job as parents and hope someday I may be just as great