Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog #7 A Very Important Day July 7th

This is the day my daughter Hannah Rose was born.
I can hardly believe it’s been 11 years ago. She has taught me so, so much. I never would have believed how much.  For instance, see this old blog post The Tao of Han. She is a beautiful girl and I’m so very proud of her.

I don’t remember too much about our first days together, as I was running on adrenaline and Vicodin, thanks to an unexpected C-section. It’s kind of a blur. I do remember writing something about it in a brief moment I stole enough time to write a few lines.  Let me see if I can find it….*rummages around in ancient computer file folders* *swears*
Ah! Here it is!

Hannah’s Lessons

Long ago, my mother encouraged me to write, so this is for her.  And for Hannah, who inspires me to write every day.  Not that I do…she just inspires me to.

On Mothers and Daughters

 About a year ago, I had a baby.  It was a text book pregnancy, nothing out of the ordinary.  The delivery went fairly smooth, although the baby was unexpectedly breach and I had an almost instantaneous, unplanned C-section.  Even that isn’t so unusual these days.  Pretty standard.  The first year, she kept me so busy, I couldn’t write on a regular basis.  (I’ve never written on a regular basis actually.  I’ve always written sporadically, as the mood hits me.  Suffice to say, I wrote even less than usual.)

So what makes this baby so special?  Why is our story any different from the thousands of other stories of mothers and babies?  It’s not, but that’s what makes it so wonderful, that this incredible event takes place every day, to thousands of women all over the world.  There is no bond in the universe to compare to that between mother and child that I know of.  It almost defies description.  I know, children grow up and break away from their mothers.  It will change for me and my baby, maybe slowly, maybe over night.  I don’t know.  All I know is I have to make the most of every day I have with her because each day she’s here I feel so blessed.

My baby is Hannah, a.k.a. Hannah B for “Hannah Baby” or “Hannah Bee”, as in “Busy Bee”.  Sometimes we just call her “Bee”.  Some people call her Hannah Banana, but I never have much.  I never could have imagined how much Hannah could teach me in a year.  She taught me what my mother did for me and what all loving mothers do for their children.  She gave me an appreciation I never could have had for what my mother did before.  Any mother knows what I’m talking about. 

People tend to think parents are responsible for teaching their children things, and that’s true, but not much attention is paid to the things our children teach us.  Sometimes I think those things are far more important.  Now that I’ve caught on, I look for Hannah’s lessons every day.  She has lots to show me and I still have lots to learn.

Tidbits of Wisdom
I’ve learned a few things about children in general they don’t put in the baby manuals.  Believe me, I know.  I’ve read a bunch of them.  Such as:

Children have the ability to absorb nutrients through their skin.  That’s why they can wear their food instead of eat it and still survive.


Babies have to be cute.  It’s a survival mechanism.  If they weren’t cute, no one would want them.

Lesson One: Don’t be Afraid to Fail

Hannah’s learning to walk right now.  Actually, she’s learning lots of things, but the main thing is walking.  It already has me fondly remembering when she was six months old and not even rolling over yet.  Those simple days are over and I’ll be chasing her from now on I guess.  When she first began to let go of the couch or the coffee table, she’d topple almost immediately.  Every day she’d get a little stronger and stand a little longer, but she still fell constantly.  If she hadn’t bumped her head on anything, her diaper took most of the shock and she’d be right back at it, teetering on the brink of disaster again.  Lately, she’s taken to climbing stairs and toy boxes and anything else she can pull herself up onto.  She has no fear of heights, no fear of falling and no fear of failure.  She’ll learn these fears one day, I have no doubt.  We all do.  But if Hannah feared failure right now, she would never learn to walk or talk or color or do any of the things most adults take for granted.  If she never babbled like a fool, she wouldn’t learn to speak.  If she doesn’t scribble, she’ll never draw. 

So often we expect to do new things perfectly without giving ourselves the room to learn, to fail and to try again.  I’m not sure why.  I despair over my writing all the time when I should be giving myself a chance to grow and mature as a writer.  I guess it’s about patience with one’s self.  Even Hannah gets frustrated when the square peg won’t go into the round hole she’s trying to force it into, but she never gives up.  That’s the difference.  I get frustrated and want to give up.  She gets frustrated and tries harder.

Lesson Two: Share what you have, no matter how meager

We often think of children as selfish and they can be, but it isn’t until two or three years old that they begin to formulate a concept of ownership.  The very youngest children seem to delight in giving you whatever it is they have, whether it’s a mushy cracker or a favorite doll.  One of Hannah’s most favorite activities is feeding her dinner to the cat or sticking Lucky Charms cereal in someone else’s mouth.  Her giggle is priceless.  She has no concept of keeping things for herself, from others.  She’s often frustrated when I won’t give her my papers or books. 

I must have gotten side tracked at this point because I have a list of other lessons that I never wrote about, but they're still good stuff. Here:

Lesson 3: Don’t be so self conscious

Lesson 4: Look for the fun in everything

Lesson 5: Ask for what you need

Lesson 6: Always try new things

Lesson 7: Speak up!

Lesson 8: Keep active

Lesson 9: Big hugs are the best kind

Lesson 10: Brighten someone’s day with a smile everyday

Well, that's probably more than any of you will ever read, so I'd better stop now. Hannah's probably going to kill me when she sees this anyway!  :) Happy Birthday Hannah and Peace to you~


  1. Happy Birthday to Hannah and thank you for such a beautiful piece that reminds us that motherhood requires us to be present and able to learn, not perfect. (Must remember this when Jackson is screaming at the top of his lungs, must remember, must remember.)

  2. No, not perfect by any means :) I don't know how old Jackson is, but I've found that most children get louder and more out of control as they get hungry or tired or both. It's actually true of adults as well, but perhaps more subtle. When my kids are screaming, I ask myself are they tired? Hungry? The answer is usually yes. Doesn't always make it easier to bear, but it helps knowing what the problem really is.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  3. In my bedroom is a large almost 50 year old walnut and rosewood dresser. It has three large drawers in the center and three smaller drawers on each side of the large ones. In the lower left hand small drawer are many secret treasurers left by their owners so many years ago. These are my treasurers now. One in particular is called into memory today. It is a hand drawn picture of a baby shoe, the one shoe itself and a poem about that shoe. The poem tells of how the owner wore the shoe,scuffed it a bit and now it is no longer white, but a nice shade of light brown. Now that the shoe lives in the drawer it is not alone because it resides with a pair of old glasses, some old pictures and is cared for with lots of love. The shoe hopes to live in the drawer forever. I'm Lisa's mother and I love that old shoe and the person who wore it some many years ago. Over the years I've had the privilege of reading Lisa's poems and stories and I hope that everyone will now be able to share her love of reading her stories.