Monday, June 02, 2008

Four Years Old

Dear Claire,

Today you turned four years old, and I cannot figure out where the time has gone. I can still remember so clearly the day you were born. It was one of the scariest, and one of the most joyous days of my life. When I was at the doctor's office and they couldn't find your heartbeat, and then it was so low, I didn't know what to think. Thank goodness we had amazing doctors that we really trusted to tell us what was best to do. And we wound up with such a beautiful, amazing little girl.

You are so joyful, Claire. You have an amazing energy. Your teacher, Miss Pam, often tells me that I am so lucky to have you all day long, and how you light up the classroom when you walk into it, and you make her day when you give her hugs. I am glad to know that we are not the only ones who think of you this way, because we might be a little biased.

Lately you struggle a bit because you are the smallest, and the second youngest in your class. You have told me on several occasions that you don't want to do something or wear something because you don't want people to call you a baby. It breaks my heart that so early in your life you are so worried about what other people think of you. This is something that I have battled all of my life, and if I could figure out how to make it better for you I would. I just try to tell you over and over how amazing, special, smart, and beautiful we think you are.

Your teachers and other parents who know you have told me on several occasions how sensitive and mothering you are with other kids. I think you get that from me, also. I hope that this part of you never changes. It will take you far in life.

You are so very smart, Claire. You frequently amaze Daddy and I with the things that you are able to remember. The other day in the car on the way to school you made me help you count to 120. We only stopped there because I was tired, and I distracted you by pointing out a dog in a yard we were passing. I think you would have gone on forever if I was more patient. You want desperately to read, and I think that it won't be long. You've already read the first 3 Bob books almost all by yourself. We'll work on this more once school is over for the year. You also love to spell (another Mommy trait). Frequently while we're driving you ask me to help you spell a word, and I will slowly pronounce it so that you can hear the different sounds of the letters, and you will repeat the sounds and say the letters that make those sounds. You have mastered writing the letters in your name, and also BEN, NONNO, and NONNI. The other day you were writing BEN, and you reversed the N, as many little kids do. What surprised me is that you noticed right away that you had written it wrong, told me so, and wrote the name again, this time talking yourself through the N - "up, down, up!" I think when you get back to school in the fall you are going to be leaps and bounds away from where you are now.

On Saturday we had your birthday party. It was a great time. You had so much fun. Ben and I picked out an inflatable pool with two slides at Toys R Us, and for $25 it was just perfect. You and your friends jumped, splashed, slid, and climbed. About a half hour before the party was supposed to end a big storm rolled through. The timing was good because it drove everyone inside just in time to watch you blow out the candle on your sandcastle cake. I still can't figure out how we fit 47 people in our house, but we managed somehow. The rain, thunder, and lightning came down fast and furious, and about 5 minutes before your party was supposed to end the electricity went out. I don't think we'll ever forget this party because of that.

Right now your favorite color is pink. And you tell everyone you see. There must be no confusion. Pink. Daddy and I gave you a book for your birthday called Pinkalicious, and before bed you gave me a hug and said, "I love my new book!" It made me so happy to know that you liked what I chose for you.

You asked lots of questions before bed about when you were born. You kept making me show you with my hands how big you were when you were born, and you listened in amazement to the list of people who were there at the hospital anxious to see you when you were born. You asked what they did when they saw you, and you asked about the people that are part of your life that weren't there, and why they weren't there. Daddy and I told you how lucky you are because there are so many people who love and care about you. You were surprised that Daddy was the first one to hold you, and that Papa was the first person he talked to after you were born. I can still remember how frustrated I was that I had no feeling in my left arm from the epidural because they wouldn't let me hold you for such a long time. But I could see how beautiful you were. Daddy held you right next to me so that I could talk to you and kiss your sweet head, and learn your beautiful face. You were so precious to me then, and even more so now. When you were born my heart filled up with an amazing amount of love, and I thought it could never get better than that, but it does. Every day.

I love you, Claire-Bear. I hope you always know how much.


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