My Dearest Claire,
I want to tell you a funny story...
Long before you were born, papa and I were watching a movie and the main character--a feisty, classic, beautiful, impetuous girl named Claire captured my attention. I fell in love with her. Later that evening, I had a dream that our family was not yet complete. We were supposed to have an addition, a little girl named Claire.
Fast forward to a snowy, blustery cold afternoon on December 14, 2010--we were in the hospital delivering you...it was the second to last push and I started sobbing...I mean I literally could not stop crying....not because I was in pain, but because I was afraid.
My doctor came to one side of me and papa came to the other. She leaned down and said, "Kelly, what's wrong? You're a pro at this...she is your third child. What's wrong?" With tears streaming down my face, I said, "I don't know. I just think that something really big and amazing is coming into the world."
When you emerged, the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck four times. Immediately and like a lasso, the doctor freed you and you belted the most piercing screech I'd ever heard. It was a terrifying and exhilarating feeling.
And the truth is, you've been screaming ever since.
Even though you are a petite, blonde haired, blue eyed little girl, you are bold and powerful and you rarely take no for an answer which is why your daddy and I find ourselves beating our heads against a wall.
When you decide that you want something--whether it is a piece of banana bread, a container of chocolate milk or world peace, you are singularly focused and a have a level of determination that is unparalleled and usually means that through the sheer force of your will, it will happen.
A few months ago, you began all-day kindergarten...you are learning to write, to read, to do more complex math problems, to negotiate with your classmates and to follow the direction of someone other than me. And you are in your element. A social butterfly, you flit from one friend to the next, confident and capable in your ability to lead the way on the monkey bars and to fairly trade a Gogurt for a bag of Goldfish at lunch time.
To be honest with you, we are not terribly alike.
You are hard headed, fearless, persistent, formidable and stand unfazed if someone does not like your opinion or your persona--I am far more worried about what others think of me. And for this aspect of your character, I stand in awe. I yearn to have the chutzpa that you do and to so freely and largely inhabit the space that you do.
You are beautiful and brilliant and a little mean all wrapped in one tightly powerful bundle. As you grow, which I know that much to my chagrin, you will just continue to do, may you never stray from who you are. Be belligerent. Stay feisty. Keep them guessing. Give a little grief. But remember that in the end, love always wins and that it is more important to be kind than to be right.
Your daddy and I love you beyond words. We couldn't imagine our family or our home without you. The Happiest of Sixth Birthdays, Claire! Thank you for choosing to come barreling into our lives and for the cacophony of love you bring.
To the moon and back,