Every year, it’s gets sweeter to tell Clare, “happy birthday.” She was born smack dab in the middle of Vacation Bible School week, you know, the one I was leading. I came home that Wednesday afternoon and used the bathroom. A lot. I finally figured out my water was breaking and got myself to the hospital. But first, I had to do the laundry, finish some client work, get the kids in bed and then drive myself to the hospital. Long story, another blog post.
Without further delay, here’s this year’s “I love you” letter to sweet, sweet Clare Bear:
You’re six. SIX! You’ve officially moved from one hand to two when showing off your age. I think as long as you live, I will always consider you my baby girl. It’s what moms do, I think. We never forget the innocence of our children.
There are so many words to describe you, but I think my favorite is “lover of life.” You are our sweet Clare Bear and everyone you meet smiles when they hear that name.
You dance. And it is beautiful. You took tap and ballet this year and practically floated to class each week. Seeing you in the final performance, I was so proud of your confidence, your joy and your attention to the small things.
You pick flowers. When you were really little, you picked them all the time. It was your sign that you loved someone. You haven’t picked quite as many this year, but you’re still finding the prettiest ones. Please don’t stop. Getting a flower from you instantly brightens my day.
It cracks me up that you eat so slow. The entire table will be gone and you’re still there, happily working your way through a plate of food.
Kindergarten was a beautiful year for you, but I’ll admit it was hard on me. I missed having you at the house, so very much. But, it was hard to be sad for long when you bounded home, telling me about finding Chester, the class pet, coloring your favorite picture or writing your first story. You love school, you adored your teacher and you took your role as a student very seriously. When the teacher gave us a week to work on homework, you insisted we do it RIGHT THEN.
You still throw a few fits, but you are easily talked off the ledge. In fact, now that I think about it, you’re typically the one kid who actually listens. 1 out of 5 isn’t bad odds.
I love how you say your “R’s”. I know the mispronunciation will correct itself, so I’ve just left it alone. For the record, I think everyone should say, “Hawwy Pawter.”
You care about modesty. Just last week, I heard you tell Anna-Laura, “Oh, I can’t wear THAT swimsuit, it shows my bewwy button!”
Who knows if it is true, but you tell us all the time you want to be a Dominican Sister, just like the Sisters down the street. I hear some rejoicing in Ann Arbor… We’ll continue to foster that vocation, but most of all, Clare, I want you to be happy. Whatever form that takes, let God lead your heart. You will most definitely make the world a brighter place.
Purple is still your favorite color. Your favorite nickname for your brother is Lukey. And your siblings still think you hung the moon.
I often hear you giggling with your sister after I close the bedroom door at night. Oh, how I prayed God would give us girls. That’s one reason why.
May today be a celebration of you. You are my shining light, Clare. You give the best hugs, backrubs and compliments. Without a doubt, you are our family’s sunshine. Happy 6th birthday pretty girl.