This weekend my youngest daughter will come to visit. She is on a reading break from university and will be able to spend a couple of days with me. After the great time with my son I look forward to the opportunity to connect with another of my children. Hanna, as I said is the youngest of my children. If I had to sum her up in a word I would use the word ‘quirky.’ She is so like her brother and sister in some ways and then so different in others.
Hanna has always been creative and free spirited. From the time she was able to make things she believed in making gifts, cards and tags rather than buying things. The funniest of these gift givings was when we opened our beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts from Hanna and each one of us received something that belonged to the other. Hanna was really young at the time and she thought it was a great idea to go into other family members’ rooms and find something special, wrap it up and give it to another family member. It was a pretty amusing Christmas morning as we all tried to balance our shock with gratitude so as to not hurt her feelings. After that she mastered the art of homemade gift giving and we each have a collection of pottery, drawings and crafts Hanna has thoughtfully made and gifted us with. In the last few years it was actually hard to watch her become less free and creative as she felt the pressure of the world around her and the need to fit in with her friends, a work schedule and rigours of university study.
Hanna and I have been pretty tight but it has been a painful process for me to allow my last child to grow up and explore who she is. I have learned much from Hanna, some of which I have not learned willingly. I described this last year as, Hanna transforming from “Heidi” to ‘party girl” in one easy year. She doesn’t like that description but for me, a mother wanting to hold on to the last bit of innocence of childhood for my baby, it seems accurate.
Fast forward from a party summer, a totalled vehicle and not enough money saved to make it through the next year of university and here we are. She is doing well in school, learned to drive a standard vehicle, basically all on her own and is again pursuing her creative spirit. She is studying her two passions, physical education and art and has decided to follow in her mother and father’s footsteps and get her degree in education. She will be an awesome teacher and I think she will be very satisfied in that career.
This weekend when she comes I will try to remember that she is no longer my little girl but a developing young woman with talents and hopes and dream all her own which I need to honour. I have already made her a batch of ginger cookies to take home with her and have apples, salmon, dried fruit and a few other treats for her to take back to school with her that will comfort, nourish and remind her of home. She loves homemade soup and is very good at making it so I thought today I would play with scone and biscuit recipes so that we can freeze a bunch for her to take and reheat on those cold dark nights when she is having a bowl of soup. Her absolute favourite are cinnamon buns so when she gets here we will mix up a batch of sweet dough together from Beth Hensperger’s book, Beth’s Basic Bread Book. I love the Caramel Rolls Recipe on page 47. Hanna also loves a good BBQ steak so I have ordered up some really good, hormone free Rib Eye Steaks from my favourite butcher and we will feast on those Sunday night.
Hanna is also a nature lover. This is my daughter who will call me to say ‘hi Mom, I’m at the top of a mountain and the view is so great.” When I ask her who she is with, she replies casually, “just myself.’ Although I am not keen on her being in the woods alone and not telling anyone where she is going, it does make me proud that she is so confident and comfortable in the woods. So, this weekend we will walk in the forest, along the ocean shore and maybe even have a hotdog roast over an open fire in the yard one afternoon. She will tell us her funny stories and crack us up with her quirks, like getting the ending sound of a word wrong or using a word that rhymes with the word she should be using, or telling us to ‘adios’ when she gets annoyed. We will laugh, share food, the outdoors and memories from days gone by together and perhaps I will be feeling generous enough to share my new bottle of Taylor Fladgate, 10 year Port with her by a roaring fire one night.
I am anticipating her arrival with warm thoughts and a busy kitchen!