My sweet, sweet Claire. In a world where Grace is my spirit, you are most certainly my heart.
You love so openly and unconditionally — never shying away from a hug or another hug or a thousand more hugs. It breaks your heart to see someone hurting, especially those closest to you. Without thinking twice, you’ll sacrifice your own happiness to ensure someone else’s. What an amazing quality in a five-year-old!
Once, we were racing up the stairs and you were in the lead and purposefully backed off because you thought I would be sad if I didn’t win. You have done this same thing countless other times — letting me win at a game of memory or giving me the last bite of your favorite food. It’s simply amazing.
It’s this incredible heart that will help you on your upcoming big adventure: Kindergarten. I know you will make new friends (both teachers and kids) once they have a chance to get to know you. Sometimes you are a bit shy when you first meet someone (you get this from me, for sure), but if they take the time to see under that shy shell of yours, they’ll see what I see: a child overflowing with love.
I have loved being on maternity leave this summer and getting to watch you grow more closely than before. I’ve watched you shed some toddler-like behavior and embrace some big kid responses. Several times you have told me you won’t complain about what we’re eating (sometimes this holds true, sometimes it doesn’t), but I see your desire to grow and that’s certainly the first step.
In fact, you have stopped throwing fits most oft the time when you don’t get what you want — you are using more logic when it comes to disagreements. In fact, you are debating with us so much that it drove your Dad to say the other day, “Stop arguing with me!” I reminded him that you are his daughter and that will be an uphill battle. And speaking of your Dad — you completely, utterly, totally adore him. You certainly love the rest of us, but in your eyes, there is no one more perfect than your “Papa.”
You are a great helper and you never ever turn down a request if it’s something for Henry. You have fetched more diapers and made more binky runs than anyone in this family — you would do just about anything for that little boy.
You still love to read and learn and I just can’t wait to see how you take off once you hit school. You soak up knowledge like a little sponge and will often tell me “Well, actually, Mom (insert fact here.)” Eventually we’ll have to work on the know-it-all-ness (you can thank your Dad for that trait), but for now, I love watching you learn and retain and share your love of knowledge with others.
As Kindergarten approaches (and really this applies to the next 20 years), you’ll be learning more and more about yourself. We recently watched the movie “Inside Out” and you left the theater saying you identified mostly with the emotion fear. You are a Nervous Nelly (you can thank me for that trait) and often worry about how things will unfold, so I knew why you related to fear. But in subsequent weeks, you have had conversations with your Grandma and myself about being brave and on several occasions, I have excitedly and proudly watched you show courage in the face of your fears.
With your infinite love and your blossoming courage, I will proudly and lovingly watch you take on Kindergarten (and the world) with amazing success.
Love you, Claire Bean.