My Girl


My Dear Sweet Clara,

Happy Birthday! How on earth are you 7 years old already? My goodness...the joy of watching you grow sure makes time fly. It seems that it was just 3 minutes ago that you and I were sitting in the front yard waiting for your Daddy to drive up. I took this picture of you because I thought you were so darn cute with your little pig-tails :-)

One of your favorite things lately is for me to tell you stories of when you were a little baby - here are a few that you might like to remember forever...

Your Daddy knew you and your heart from the first moment that he heard you were on the way. We were at Yaya and Papa's cottage in Wisconsin, when I learned that you were on your way into our family and hearts. Daddy was golfing at the time, and I could hardly contain my excitement to tell someone my exciting news...I wanted to tell Daddy first, but I just couldn't wait. So, when you big brother woke from his nap, I told him "You're going to be a big brother!" Since he was only 6 months old, I knew I could count on him to keep my wonderful secret :-)

When Daddy came back from golf, I asked him to take a walk with me. I had a little box wrapped up in my pocket. It contained a very special test I'd taken earlier (kinda gross, now that I think about it, but I guess I wasn't very clear-headed at the time...and I double bagged it in a ziploc bag!). We took a stroll down the road, and we turned up a little dirt path called "Tipetts Lane". It was under the shade trees on that dirt road that I pulled a little box wrapped with a bow from my pocket and gave it to your Daddy (he told me later that he thought for sure it was sunglasses since he was missing his!!). He opened it. He closed it. He opened it again. He looked carefully. Without looking at me (but with a grin on his face), he said, "two lines means pregnant, right?"

"Well...YEAH!!"

And his response...I'll never forget the sparkle in his eye and the joy in his voice as he said "We finally get our Clara Rose!" And he hugged and kissed me so tenderly...and then he lifted me off the ground with the joy of YOU in our lives!

That was one of my best days.

And then, a few months later, came one of my worst days.

We went to the doctor for our first ultrasound. The doctor scanned and scanned and scanned. There you were...we could see you...that tiny little speck. But there was no sign of the heartbeat that should have been there. The doctor was not encouraging in any way. She simply said, "It looks like everything has developed to proper stage based on how far along you are. There should certainly be a heartbeat, but there isn't. I'm so sorry. Come back in one week for confirmation."

Confirmation?

The next seven days were the longest of my life. We already loved you so...

And then, one day, your Daddy came home with a peaceful smile on his face. "Everything is going to be fine", he reported. I must have looked at him like he had 2 heads! He told an amazing story:

He had been walking out of the office that afternoon. As he walked, a delicate and beautiful butterfly fluttered across his path, and seemed to be there just for him. Time stood still as the butterfly seemed to hang in the air in front of him, as if to say "do you see me? " The sight of that butterfly brought a wash of peace to your Daddy. It was his message from heaven. Our baby...you...were going to be just fine.

And then, another of my best days.

The doctor scanned my belly, and said "I can't believe it!" And then she turned the monitor for us to see for ourselves...your heart beating strong and true. Praise God!

It wasn't long before your strong legs were beating me up from the inside out - you were always incredibly strong! I love that about you :-)

On the day of your birth, you Daddy gave me a beautiful Lladro piece...a delicate and gorgeous butterfly...to remind us of the promise of YOU. I'll treasure it forever.

Well, I had lots of other stories to tell you, but they'll have to wait for another time or this note will go on forever!

You've grown into an amazing young lady, Clara. I'm thoroughly blessed and proud to be your Mommy. You're beautiful, with those gorgeous green eyes, sweet freckles on your nose, and dimpled smile. You're smart as can be - always asking questions and figuring things out and doing your best. You're feisty - in your more ornery moments your Daddy likes to call you "DJ" for "Daiquiri Junior" {sigh}. It's hard being such a passionate young woman, I know this first hand! But it will serve you well if you can learn to use your powers for good rather than for evil! ;-) And some day, you'll find a man who will say that your feistiness is his favorite thing about you. And if you find someone who says he doesn't like it? Kick 'em in the shins and find someone else!!

But sweetie, my favorite thing about you is your tender and kind heart. You have a way of loving like no one else! You're a good person, way down deep in your heart. You're considerate, sweet, helpful...I just love to see how you care so much for the people in your life. Jesus tells us to love one another, and you seem to have a natural gift to do this. I'm so proud of you!

You are one of the greatest blessings in my life - my first daughter. Please know that I will always love you, always believe in you, always be proud of you....and I'll always have your back if you need help kicking any shins! ;-)

Happy Birthday precious girl.

Love,
Mommy

PS. I don't want to forget this great day - we got up and met Grandpa Jim at Krispy Kreme for fresh donuts first thing this morning. Then, we came home and you opened your presents. You were excited to be able to wear your new earrings, so we cleaned them up and you wore "fancy earrings" for the first time since having your ears pierced. Then, Grandma Bernie came over to watch the little ones while you, Ben, Daddy, and I went to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakwell" It was a great day! We'll be celebrating some more next weekend when Yaya and Papa come in to town, and we have a "heart" party (since it's on Valentine's Day) with about 15 of your closest friends!


Mama Belle  – (2/08/2010 07:03:00 AM)  

Oh, so sweet. They do grow up way too fast. I try to hang on to every moment.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Alicia  – (2/08/2010 08:06:00 AM)  

I remember the day Clara was born and the first chance I got to hold her. She's always had a special place in my heart.
I hope her birthday was great! I miss you guys and if she remembers me tell her that cousin Esha loves and misses her =)

The Toll House Cookie  – (2/08/2010 10:05:00 AM)  

What a beautiful love letter to your daughter. Thank you for sharing it with us! ;-)

Jessica  – (2/08/2010 10:13:00 AM)  

Boy, you sure know how to build character in your kids...they are so incredibly blessed to have a mommy like you!!!

Happy Birthday, Clara Rose (DJ) :)

Love,
Jessica

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