How to describe The Hannah Bird? The Fanny? Nanner-bananer? There is no one word to describe this beautiful girl...this artsy little slender reed of femininity....this fiesty bundle of smiling wisdom.

She draws all who know her into her wake, somehow. Oh, and by the way, if you are NOT drawn into her wake, you won't have a clue as to what she just said. She's that way, you see. She comes up with what her family indulgently calls "Hannah-isms".

"I have spent my entire day putting numbers in alphabetical order."

Oh yeah. She said that. The maddening thing is, those of us who know know her best, and love her most....we knew what she meant. We're not sure what that says about us. (Are we, Justin?)

Hannah is the Divine Combination of Audrey Hepburn sophistication, and Anne-of-Green-Gables wit and melodrama. She can, and she will, flat-out put you in your place, but you will walk away wondering if she maybe...just maybe....was actually paying you a compliment. She will break down and cry over the darndest things, but be strong as an oak when you need her to be. She serves quietly, in a multitude of unseen ways, and her family absolutely way, no how...will not be what it is without her steady, upbeat, consistent heart.

Hannah anticipates your needs and desires. How many women can do that? She not only does it, but has elevated it to an art form. She makes serving look beautiful, even fanciful.

That same artistic bent that makes her spelling an atrocity ("...but there are so many pretty ways to spell it!") makes living with her pure joy. As her family, we chortle at her attempts to be funny, and we downright bust a gut when she is being entirely serious.

I treasure my mandate I had, for twelve all-too-short years of formal schooling, to train her up in the way she should go, to pour into her by tablespoonfuls, all the standardized bits of knowlege requisite to doing well on SAT's and getting on with life. Educational hippie that I am...renegade that I've always been, I do confess to the fact that we spent far more time on far more imaginative pursuits. But we did touch on all the Standardized Stuff that is Supposed to Make One Successful In Life.

She's been graduated from high school, lo' these last three years. She earned her diploma, and earned it fair and square and well. But I confess to being relieved that Hannah never really acquiesed to being a standardized teenager, or a normal, average twenty-something. Something about her spirit, combined with her upbringing and education, combined to preserve the slightly addled, delightfully artistic, passionate manner in which she seeks to glorify God with her life.

We love you, Hannah Banana.
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