I found out we were expecting Hannah on my very last day in the only career I had known, furniture sales. Good Friday, 2008, Amanda told me that she had “another chickadee” on the way. Little did she know then that “chick” would be the right word after all! Daughter #2, and I couldn’t have been happier!
A few months after that, I changed careers completely when I left the sales world behind for the classroom, teaching 6th Grade. In my spare time, I was remodeling the house we were going to move into, hopefully before Hannah’s arrival that fall. It wasn’t meant to be.
On November 11, my sweet baby girl was born in the wee hours of the morning. Man, it truly is a blur. I remember Caroline (then just 2 1/2 herself) coming in wearing her “Big Sister” shirt and holding Hannah for the first time. And I remember thinking “I’ll never sleep again. Ever.” That wasn’t far from the truth!
A month later, we moved into our newly remodeled rental, thinking we were settling in for a long winter. Silly us! Three days in, the hot water tap on the kitchen sink blew off (thankfully, my father-in-law was the plumber on that project, not me!), flooding our brand new “Top Choice” flooring, and bringing in airplane engine-like humidifiers and portable dryers for the holidays. It was so loud in our house, you couldn’t hear the freight trains passing by 30 yards away.
Needless to say, my wife was a tad stressed. A one month old, a flooded house, the holidays, and did I mention she’d just had a baby? Oh my, how great the grace and mercy of God was in our house that Christmas!!! Only by it did we survive!
I remember holding Hannah one night during this time trying to console her while Amanda took a shower (or maybe she was just hiding in the bathroom, either way, she needed a break). With Caroline, I had the magic touch. She was daddy’s girl from day one. Not so with Hannah. No matter what I did, she would not be consoled. She wanted one thing: mama. I remember giving up and taking her, screaming and wailing, to her crib, both of us utterly exasperated with one another. It was not a high point of my tenure as a father, that’s for sure.
Fast forward to tonight: I carried that same sweet girl to bed after she fell asleep on my shoulder. The girl I thought didn’t want anything to do with me now fights with her sister to have me tuck her into bed each night. She climbed into my lap and fell asleep on her own. There is nothing in the world sweeter than that.
My cup runneth over.
So happy birthday Hannah. Your daddy loves you! You’re only my youngest for a few more weeks, but you’ll always be my baby girl.