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I Saw Her Standing There

Please indulge me as I begin with a little song . . .

Well she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another
Ooh, when I saw her standing there

Hannah 1

Yesterday was my daughter Hannah’s first day of her senior year of high school.  And today is her 17th birthday.  Could someone please explain to me how we got here so quickly?  It seems like it’s only been a year or two since I delivered a healthy 8 lb 5 oz baby girl at 9:08 am on September 3, 1992.  Really, it can’t have been 17 years.

Hannah 3

And yet then I stop and look at the beautiful young woman in these photos and I realize that this didn’t happen over night.  It has taken years of caring and nurturing and loving to get us to this day.  There has been yelling and crying and negotiating and laughing.  Lots and lots of laughing.

Hannah 2

I can’t help but feel like turning seventeen and becoming a senior in high school is a bit of a turning point.  And this point – this particular point – is one of the last ones I’ll have before I really have to start letting go.  I’m not quite ready yet, though, and I intend to savor every last moment of her seventeenth year.

Hannah 4

Happy Birthday, Hannah.  I’m so proud to be your mom.

This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday to a beautiful girl – Happy Senior Year too!! My baby started high school yesterday – I can’t understand how this all happened so fast.

  2. We took a photo this summer of our daughter where she suddenly looked much older than her 6yr old self. It’s like a little glimpse into the future. I don’t even know how we got to 6 so quickly!
    Happy birthday to Hannah and best wishes for her high school years!

  3. First – Happy Birthday Hannah!!! What a beautiful young woman you are turning out to be.

    Now – I am all weepy after reading your post Carole. My “baby” turns 14 Monday and starts her Freshman year at highschool on Tuesday. And I am crying because I know I will be in your shoes real soon and these next few years are going to fly by. I am not ready for it.

    Enjoy your day Hannah! And thank you Carole for sharing her with us!

  4. This final year will prepare you both for the “letting go” part. You aren’t ready now and she isn’t either, but when next year gets here, it will be easier because you’ll know you’ve done your job well and she’s able to handle whatever comes her way. Have fun celebrating her birthday today.

  5. a very happy birthday to your beautiful daughter 🙂 i hope her senior year is memorable, successful, and fun!

  6. What a lovely girl. You’re so lucky that of all the girls in the world, you got that one!

    Senior year flies by, but there will be those pesky college applications to bring you both back to earth!

  7. You’re making me cry way too early. She’s lovely, Carole. My oldest just started high school, and it’s killing me…

  8. Happy Birthday dear Hannah!!!!! And may your 17th year be fabulous.
    And you, dear Carole, deserve big hugs for helping to bring into being such a wonderful woman. It is hard to let them spread their wings, but truthfully, I grow closer to my daughters every year… so it’s ok..(despite missing them every day)

  9. Happy Birthday Hannah! I look forward to seeing how you make your mark in the world. I know it will be good.

    My daughter turns 17 in a month. Just got her driver’s license on Monday. The whole college/work thing looms on the horizon. The milestones at this age are huge — it used to be, “Oh, cool, you tied your shoelaces!” sigh.

  10. Happy Birthday Hannah!

    I am completely agog every time I turn around and see how fast my nephews and nieces are changing, astounds me every single time.

  11. Hannah: Happy Birthday dear girl! I hold you up to my 12 year old daughter as the “girl I’d like you to grow up to be!”

    Carole: I guess I’ve just been hanging on to my “first day of school tears” until today because you just opened the floodgate. You’re the mom I hold myself up to and say “That’s the mother of a teenaged girl I want to be!”

    To both of you: Enjoy the ride – wherever it takes you!

  12. Ummmmm, I wouldn’t want to make you cry or anything, but this will be her eighteenth year – I hope it is a good one for both of you. Happy Birthday Hannah! And many many more.

  13. Happy Birthday, Hannah! Don’t do anything that will put any gray hairs on your mom, OK? We women of a certain age (You’ll understand someday) really don’t appreciate any more gray hairs. 😀

  14. She is such a beautiful young lady! And you’re right–though it seems like it happened fast–there was a lot of effort that went into getting her to this point! You’ve obviously done an awesome job to end up with a girl this great. My daughter is a junior this year so I’ll be feeling the way you do all too soon!

  15. Gosh I know I am so late with the birthday wishes but I wanted to wish you a happy birthday anyways Hannah! You are a beautiful young woman who has an amazing mom (but you already know that!). I hope your birthday was great and that this year is everything you hope for!

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