Happy Birthday, Hattie!
This week I’m taking a break from the baking posts. My second daughter turns twenty at the end of this week. (How is that possible??) One of her college friends is surprising her with twenty envelopes filled with favorite Hattie memories. Here are three of mine.
I co-led Anna’s Girl Scout troop. One afternoon, when Anna was either in first or second grade—which means that Hattie was either five or six, the scout assigned to bring the snack forgot. I called home, and Hattie answered. I asked her to bring some cookies. We had a full cookie jar, so I said, “Just bag them up, Hattie.”
She hung up without putting her grandma, visiting from North Carolina, on the phone. She knew the problem and how to solve it, so she didn’t think Grandma’s speaking to me was necessary.
On hearing the news, Grandma said, “But, Hattie, Grandpa isn’t here. Remember he’s gone to Busy Beaver. We don’t have a car.”
Without missing a beat or worrying that she’d messed up, Hattie said, “We’ll call Nancy.” Asking our next door neighbor was a great idea, but Grandpa returned just in time to deliver the snacks.
An interesting side note to this memory: when I’d told her to bag the cookies, I meant put them in one plastic bag. She had a better idea. She bagged them, two each, in individual bags.
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When Hattie was in seventh or eighth grade, a few of her friends were discussing dating and boyfriends. One said, “I know why Hattie doesn’t have a boyfriend. She doesn’t have good self-esteem.”
She replied, “I don’t need a boy to give me my self-esteem.”
Yea!!!! Go Hattie! I love this memory.
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When Hattie was voted onto the Homecoming Court in her senior year of high school, we were all stunned, not because we thought she didn’t deserve it but because I, for one, didn’t think the students could see her value. Even her cousin commented on how Hattie stuck out like a sore thumb in the group of other nominees. A horrible metaphor, yes, but I knew what the cousin meant. Hattie was different from the other girls, posing and chattering together. Hattie played the flute in the band, ran cross country, and played soccer. She wasn’t a cheerleader.
We enjoyed the two weeks between nominations and Homecoming Day. Tons of people kept congratulating her, so happy that she was nominated. Hattie took all of this commotion in stride. I thought she didn’t care one way or the other about winning.
Homecoming night proved me wrong. At halftime, the emcee announced her name, and the entire band (including her twin brothers standing behind the court on the football field) jumped for joy. Anna yelled from the sidelines, “That’s my sister! That’s my sister!”
Here’s one of my favorite parts of that night: on the ride home, Hattie could not stop giggling, grinning, smiling, laughing. Hattie was giddy with her new title.
The power of a tiara on a girl’s head.