Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Her shirt says "one of a kind." And she is.

Today, Hannah Ruth, you are turning twelve.

When I took the photo above, one Sunday morning before religious school, I knew I'd use it on this post. It's the perfect representation of you at that moment: long hair, nerdy glasses (though you just got contacts), hairbands on your wrists, a phone within easy reach, hot chocolate and a killer smile. I'd do almost anything to keep that smile on your face.

You say ten was the greatest year of your life, but eleven was pretty good too. It was hard to say goodbye to elementary school, but you've made a fantastic transition to middle school, earning straight A's (and an A+ in math!) while keeping up with new and old friends. You spent the year singing, with many solos at school and in All City choir, and in "Annie," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and soon, "Joseph" and "Oklahoma." Lots of singing in the car too. You got Invisalign, danced to "Shut Up and Dance," and started practicing for your bat mitzvah, now just a year away. You spent all summer at camp, and then saw your phone "blow up" with texts on the day school team assignments were announced.

You are "Grey's Anatomy" and and North Face and Converse, both sparkly and non-sparkly. You are a million pillows - emojis, mustaches, the letter "H" - on a full-size bed with a chevron duvet. You are constantly switching purses and walks to Newton Centre on early release days. You are organized and patient and somehow still allow your brother to be your very best friend, but with many others sharing a close second ranking.

Each year, you continue to break my heart, just a little, as you get ever older. I'm never going to be ready to let you go, but I know I'm raising you to be strong enough to leave. This next year will be the biggest juggle you've encountered yet, but I know you can do it. I'm so proud of you and thrilled to be your Mom. Happy birthday, kiddo.

(You can also see letters for ages seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven.)

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