|In Hebrew, "ahava," meaning love.|
It's kind of breaking my heart to write this letter, and I've procrastinated on it as long as I can. How can you possibly be turning 10 already? How can so much of your childhood have already happened? I can feel the ball rolling down the hill of time now, picking up speed with every rotation, going too fast.
It's hard not to see myself in you. You are a reader and a writer and a singer, all things I like to think I helped influence. But then you insist on mustache-shaped earrings and hipster glasses, and I know that you're all yourself too. You're still neon and glitter, but with more sophisticated shades thrown in too.
This year, we passed that less-recognized milestone of you singing along to the new song on the radio, when I'm hearing it for the very first time. You played piano, recorder and clarinet. You received your prayer book in a special ceremony and started going to youth group events. You were a sailor, a sea creature, a chef and a princess all in one night. You held my hand in Israel, because you wanted to, not because you needed it. Or maybe you did need it--you needed to feel little for a while, because you know you're not so little anymore. And with more patience and grace than I can often muster, you still permit your brother to be your very best friend.
Hannah, you are incredibly kind and compassionate, and you think for yourself. I hope you always stay that way, even though it might be a struggle sometimes. You know the right things to do, for yourself and those that you love. You are a smart, strong, beautiful young lady, and I'm so proud to be your Mom. I love you, kiddo.
(You can also see letters for ages seven, eight and nine.)