Happy 7th Birthday Letter to Hurricane Hadley


I find it amazing that Aunt Tammy’s twin toddlers have swapped personalities several times since they’ve been born. You, on the other hand, have been a constant from day 1 (well, as constant as a Hurricane could be). Always spirited, ever stubborn, forever fun, unceasingly vocal and frequently frustrated with limitations placed upon you when conquering your world.

No wonder you were such an irascible newborn; who could blame you when you couldn’t even scratch the top of your own head?

You successfully completed first grade and have grown a lot this year. You’ve improved leaps and bounds in your reading, and love (in this order): art, gym and music. Your best friend in class is a darling red-head named Cameron who’s one of the smartest and cutest boys in class.

Thus far, I approve of your choice in men.

You’re a great swimmer, an accomplished artist and are excited for your week-long art camp this summer. In fact, you’ve already surpassed Mommy with your drawings. Disclaimer: It doesn’t take much.

Participating in Destination Imagination was another highlight because it combined some of your very best talents: Imaginative play, bossing people around being a leader and performing for a crowd.

Though you’re still bitter you performed in an uninspired classroom and not on the stage for the world to see.

While other girls are wasting away playing Barbies and other feminine fluff, you spend hours, days conjuring up worlds and parties for your many stuffed animals and Fat Kitty. You talk often of what you want to do when you grow up. Sometimes, you’re a veterinarian. Other times you are a crazy cat lady run a cat hotel. You’ve recently become passionate about cooking and aspire to be a chef at Casa Bonita.

Locals will understand just how uninspiring that ambition is.

You’re already an intrepid traveler and are counting down the days until you ride the plane by yourself to see Grandma J. this summer. We took multiple ski trips and you conquered the intermediate runs at Park City Mountain Resort, Telluride, Echo Mountain and Crested Butte.

You’re always looking for new adventures and absolutely loved Disneyland, your Disney Cruise to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta and our mommy-daughter trip to Puerto Rico.

Basically, your life does not suck.

A couple of my favorite memories occurred in Puerto Rico. We failed miserably at flying kites on El Morro’s expansive bluff overlooking the ocean but on our final night, we stood on the Marriott’s wind-whipped balcony. At that raw hour, it was tough to distinguish ocean from sky and the reflection from the hotel’s white lights pierced the ocean’s black. Our 20-story perch almost seemed to shake but then I realized it was just the air vibrating.

An idea took flight.

I grabbed our grounded kite and hurled it into the void. It dropped out of sight and then, almost as if it was mustering up courage, it swooped higher and higher. You squealed with delight as we marveled at the kite that had finally taken flight to sketch our good-byes in the sky.

I’m sure the hotel staff had differing opinions on our contraband kite-flying activities.

In the evenings at the San Juan Marriott, you loved to hit the dance floor. You’ve inherited my lack of rhythm but that did not hold you back. Hair and arms flailing, you rocked out to the music, causing everyone around you to stop and marvel.

Another mom on the trip tried to urge her insecure daughter to join you. “But I can never look as good as Hadley out there!” she protested. I looked at her incredulously. She obviously wasn’t really seeing you.

Or was she?

Through her eyes, you were a self-confident, hilarious and fearless girl who didn’t care what you looked like or what anyone thought of you. You were simply lost in the moment and living it to the very fullest you knew how. This quality is one of the things that makes you special…and unstoppable. Whether you someday become a “chef” at Casa Bonita or if you’re dancing by yourself, one thing is certain:

You will always fly.


P.S. For a stroll down memory lane, read letters for your 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2 birthdays.

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