Oh, sweet Clare Bear happy fifth birthday! When Clare was born, we didn’t know the sex, but all along I felt like it was a girl. For the record, that’s the only time my “gut instinct” was correct. I would never be good in Vegas. Clare’s birth story is my happiest and funniest. I was in the middle of leading Vacation Bible School and all my volunteers kept telling me to quit jumping around or I was going to go into premature labor.
They were right.
Halfway through the week, I went to the doctor and came home feeling like junk. I kept getting up to go to the bathroom all the while thinking, “Didn’t I just go?” Doh. That was a slow bag of water breaking, silly momma. After the light bulb went off, I wrapped up several client projects, sent out a slew of invoices, got laundry started and then called Scott. I held out until 8:30pm and finally decided to go into the hospital. Every last person we knew was unavailable, so Scott handed me a towel, put his car keys in my hand and said, “Don’t mess up the seats.” Ha. Ha. After reinforcements arrived at 9:30 and he made a quick run to Wal-Mart for videotapes we were ready to have a baby.
When Clare arrived I cried as much as she did. Another gorgeous girl to add to the family. Anna-Laura would have the sister I prayed for all along. We named her after St. Clare of Assisi (that’s the reason for no “i”) and her middle name is Rose after St. Therese, the Little Flower. Everytime I say her name, I smile at its beauty. Naming her was definitely the work of the Holy Spirit.
To my funny, lovable Clare Bear,
You are so stinkin’ funny. Your giggle is fantastic and your one-liners almost always send the whole family into fits of laughter. I love the way you say “Hawwy Poddar.”
You love to pick flowers. You spend so much time finding just the right one (and you are notorious for picking the ones off my planters) and then presenting it to the person you love. You pick them on your way to school, at the park, during errands and in the middle of soccer games. You always pick the best ones.
To you, there is no prettier color than purple. If given a choice, you would wear it everyday. Well, most days you do. You have a purple Hello Kitty shirt and skirt that I have to beg to wash on a weekly basis.
You, Luke and I share a special bond. You have been there with me for every doctor visit, every blood draw and every specialist appointment. You have seen me shed every tear, shout out every Hallelujah and you have given me hope and sanity when I wondered where I would find it next. You have been my breath of sunshine, Clare. I know that God sent you to our family for that very special reason. When no one else can calm Luke down, you can. I think it’s so endearing that his favorite color is purple, too.
Dancing is your favorite thing to do. You create dances for us all the time and perform as if there was an auditorium full of people watching. Who knows, maybe someday there will be.
You are not a fan of boys. I am okay with that.
You are, by far, my most animated child. You will sing and do the motions to any song and do them with gusto.
No matter what church we enter, you always find the Mary statue and kneel to say a prayer. You’ve been doing that since you could walk.
Perhaps it’s because you’re the fourth and you worry about not being heard – but you are loud. Like, seriously loud. We often say, “Clare, we’re just a couple of feet away. Down a notch, ok?”
As hard as it is to see one of your chicks leave the nest, I know you are ready for kindergarten. I have a feeling your teachers will love you so much they won’t want to let you go, either. While there is a part of me that’s sad, a much bigger part is bursting with pride in seeing you grow into your own. You have so much to offer the world, pretty girl. It’s time to get started.