I recently read this quote that is in the Bible about names:
Like his name, so is he.
At 10 years old you have shown me that you have grown into all that your name means and more. When your father and I chose your name, no one knew that 10 years later I would be a Baby Name Expert (it would seem that the day that you were born was the beginning of many things for me too).
In choosing your name we followed our tradition and named you for people that we loved who had passed away. Your first name, Hannah is for my mother’s best friend, Heather Ann. Heather passed away shortly after your father and I met and they never had the chance to meet each other. I can tell you though, that I was so happy that she knew that your father was special and it made her very happy. My mother used to say, to know Heather is to love her. That was true of her and it is true of you. Heather was warm, kind and generous. She lit up the room. I would describe you, Hannah, the same way.
Your middle name, James, is for both of my grandfathers. I never knew my father’s father, he passed away not long after my parents met. My mother’s father, however, I knew so well and I was crazy about him. He was fun to be around and always had candy in pockets. He was a deeply religious man, who went to synagogue every Saturday and a few mornings a week before he went to work. He was a hard -working man who took great pride in his business. He was a tailor. One of my most vivid memories are the costumes that he would make himself for Halloween. He spent hours at this sewing machine sewing together patches of fabric to make these crazy suits. What I loved the most about him is how much he loved his family – we were everything to him. He adored my grandmother since the day they met when they were teenagers.
And finally, your last name, Alper. While we did not choose it for you, I want to tell you a bit about what it means to me. Even after having been married for more than 12 years, when people call me “Mrs. Alper”, I think that they are talking about your grandmother. You are blessed to have this name because you share it with your grandparents and with your father and me. What the four of us have in common is that we have strong marriages and relationships. To each of us, there is nothing more important than each other and our children. One of my greatest wishes for you is that one day (a very long time from now) your husband will be the love, strength, partnership and companionship that your father is for me, and that his parents are for each other. That is what Alper means to me.
It is with the greatest love and joy, that I wish you Happy 10th Birthday. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years! And the 10 after that. And the 10 after that. And the 10 after that. As Bubbie Sarah would say, “Until 120″.
Ah, Sandy, thank you. It was really important for me to put it all down in words on a page (or a screen as the case may be). I have shared these stories with her over the years, about these very special people from whom we drew her name. Oral story telling only goes so far and last so long. It fills me up to think about them and see pieces of them in Hannah.
Thanks so much Connie. Amazing how fast our girls go from babies in our arms, to tweens in our midst. Hannah inspires me too.
Thanks Sam! This post was much easier to write than the emotions of realizing that I have a 10 year old. It goes so fast. My greatest joy and muse.
Thanks Julie! Big milestone here. We’ve come a long way! Sending hugs from Hannah back to Mack and Posy from Hannah. She’s looking forward to seeing them soon! xo
Awesome! Putting this in writing and having Hannah’s response is something that you both will have to cherish forever! It is one thing to tell someone these things but it is so awesome to have it in print forever! You don’t know me Hannah but Happy Birthday to a very lucky,obviously special, little girl:)
Happy Birthday Hannah! What a remarkable young woman you are! Ive read your blogs and have shared your inspirational insight with my own daughter who is turning 8. This was a beautiful tribute from your mom! God bless you and your wonderful family.
Awww… it really is nice to hear all those words said to us by our Moms.
What a lovely post and tribute to an awesome kid from an awesome family. Mack and Posy send special birthday hugs! xo
Thank you so much mummy! This is such an awesome post thank you so much for caring for me, you, daddy and my dog Indigo mean everything to me. I don’t know what I would do without you, you’re the best mom a kid could ever have. Everyday you make my life happier, warmer and awesomer. I love you.
P.S Did I mention you’re the best mom?
Thank you Alex! This was a post that I loved to write, almost as much as I loved giving her each of her names. I’ll pass on your wishes to Hannah.
I love this post. So full of love and meaning. I’m sending Hannah all the warmest birthday wishes. Such an amazing young lady.