When she arrived in this world, it was with a quiet cry. Nothing like the ear-splitting scream her big sister let out a few years earlier.
It was like she didn’t want a fuss. No need to be the centre of attention.
In the early years, she was happy to go with the flow. She would follow her sister around the house. And the yard. They were inseparable.
It didn’t take long for her own personality to come through. There was a determination about everything she did. She would get frustrated easily. Still does.
Her kindergarten teacher told us what a delight she was to teach. But there would be tears, if she didn’t get things just right.
As she got older, we were able to see so many beautiful traits develop. She adores family. She can fight like a warrior with her sister. But no siblings are closer.
No-one loves cousins more. She would get excited whenever there would be a visit. Still does.
She drove us nuts to get a pet. Make that pets. Dog. Cat. Guinea pigs. She has such a caring heart.
When she laughs, you have to laugh with her. She runs out of breath. Will fall down from a fit of the giggles.
She’s ticklish too. One touch and she goes into a frenzy. Dads get great amusement from such things.
She loves nothing more than getting everyone together to watch a movie. Expect to cop a blast if you try to leave the room. Unless you’re making her more popcorn.
She sings constantly. I wish the world could hear her like I do. The voice of an angel. But for our ears only. She won’t perform. I still hope that will change.
Rarely does a minute go by when she’s not doing some sort of dance move. In the kitchen. In the lift. Around the pool. Like her sister, she has a gift when it comes to grooving.
Of late, there have been difficult days. Changes at home. Tough times at school. But she is loved, so very much, by all those in her life.
There are many photos of her that I cherish. One is at about age 3, at work on a tiny ironing board. So incredibly cute. But with that determination on show.
Another is with her sister, a few years later. They are poking their tongues out at the camera, with big smiles. It hangs at my door, so I can giggle at the cheekiness of it all each morning.
Perhaps my favourite, is one of her asleep as a toddler. She is on my chest, and I’m sleeping too. She is safe and secure, with my arm around her. Never wanting to let her go.
It’s what Dads do. We want to protect our daughters forever. Even if they’re not asleep on our chests anymore.
Tomorrow, this gorgeous girl, is little no more. My daughter becomes a teenager.
She makes me proud, every day. She’s taught me so much. About love, and caring. And family.
I count my blessings, to have two daughters, who are so beautiful in every way. What a lucky man.
As of tomorrow, Daughter Two becomes Teenager Too. Happy birthday Hannah.