This past month Hannah Foreman graduated from high school. I'm officially the parent of a high school graduate. The expression I've heard since the time she was a baby echoed at her graduation party ... "they grow up so fast."
My favorite quote is from a book given by a loving friend of mine, advising "not wish these days away."
She told me that one day as I was contemplating the future of my girls moving into adulthood. I now know what she meant by that. Hannah was born in1996 when I was 27 years old, still not set in life, (to be fair I don't think I am right now either).
She indeed was wanted and for a time her mother and I, who had gotten two years priior, didn't think we could have children.
The big memory from her time in the womb is that I got old, fast, and gained a ton of weight. I was a child of the Cosby show; I thought dad's should wear ugly sweaters and have a little bulk to them. I gained thirty pounds during those nine months, partly out of anticipation, and partly out of fear of being a parent in general.
I felt that I, like my father, would die at age 40 so in my heart and head I felt like I had to provide a lifetime in her first 13 years. Hannah taught me patience. She had colic early on, hours and hours of crying with temporary breaks when given an anti-gas med that allowed for 25-minute micro naps for both of us. One night as we both cried, me from lack of sleep, and her from her colic, I was holding her trying to sooth her as I was losing my mind; she peed on me. It was then and there that I knew that I was a parent and would love this little crying being forever.
At around nine months her lifelong allergy to peanut butter reared its ugly head. She ended up in intensive care with bronchitis shortly after. I fell asleep briefly in the room as she slept under an oxygen tent. When I woke she was standing up in the tent smiling; my heart rested and I cried. Hannah was my beach buddy as a child; she loved the water and was as tan as could be. Her hair long and brownish, (hair that didn't see its real first cut until she sat on it and it pulled her head back at age two), would produce highlights in it all summer long. She never liked sports but when we played she could compete and to this day I'm convinced that she could have been good.. She was in band from fourth grade to graduation and will continue in pep band in college. One lesson I passed on was that if you join something where others depend on you, team sports, bands, etc. then you need to stay in it; she did. My greatest joy with Hannah is that she's a writer. She's written hundreds of pages in her life so far, none of which I've been allowed to read, but will someday. Hannah will attend Finlandia University this fall to pursue a degree in English; a choice her psychologist father will always be envious of. Hannah Foreman, you are now an adult in my eyes, but will also always be my baby girl. Love Dad. firstname.lastname@example.org