On Hannah and Sofia's birthdays I can't help but reflect, and yes, get sentimental. It seems like a lifetime ago, and yet only yesterday that I carried Hannah in me. As soon as I came home from the hospital I missed the feeling of having her inside me, sharing my day to day with her. She was now her own little person with her own life to lead. I remember crying the whole way home from the hospital because she had to stay there a few extra days to recover from jaundice. I felt so so sad and so empty. Ricardo would shuttle back and forth from home to the hospital taking her milk and bringing back the report of how she was doing. We were so happy when he brought her home, and soon overwhelmed. I remember that being the first time I felt awash with gratitude to my mom, not only for being there to help me with colicky Hannah but for just being my mother and everything I then understood that meant.
Sixteen years! When Hannah was little I would try to imagine what she would be like by taking her baby traits and projecting them into an imaginary 16 year old Hannah. Everything I see in her now, was in her then, and yet she's a constant surprise to me too. I love her creativity, her strength, intense loyalty and sensitivity. I never expected her to be so funny! In so many ways she still reminds me of myself, only smarter and more self-assured. Every trait that exasperates me about her--impulsive, dramatic, all-over-the-map, demanding...are carbon copies of my own flaws. In her they are rawer, yet to be polished. I know that she will struggle with them as I do, and yet each of these traits belies a strength and talent. She lives life fully (dramatic) and in the here and now (impulsive). She's visionary (all-over-the-map) and knows what she wants (demanding).
Happy Birthday Hannah, I can't wait to see what lessons you will teach me next.