It is hard to believe that seven years ago you were a teeny baby that I held incredulously in my arms. You are the one that turned me in to a mother, and that is the most amazing gift that anyone has ever given me.
Watching you over the past year as you transitioned to a new school has been a real learning experience for me. I expected you to be overwhelmed by the big new school, but instead you act as though you've been there all along. When I drop you off in the morning and you take the hand of our neighbor who is a little less confident than you are, it makes my heart happy. You are so good at figuring out when someone needs a little extra love or support and quietly providing that. A gift that I hope you will have for your whole life.
You played two seasons on the same soccer team, and have developed into quite a talented player. I hope that you will stick with it - there is so much that you can learn from playing on a team, and pursuing athletics. You, however, may have other plans. You've told me that you're already good at soccer, and you think that you want to try something else now. You are always looking for new things to try - you want to try ice skating and horseback riding and softball and swimming and ... everything. I struggle with the desire to give you everything that you want, and to try to keep some sanity in our family calendar.
All year I've watched you start new adventures, and every time you come home from a new place you tell me about a new friend that you've made. You have such a trusting heart, and you truly believe that everyone is as good and kind-hearted as yourself. I know that someday that is going to stop, and my heart hurts just thinking about it. You see only the good in other people, and that innocence is part of what makes you so special. I know I can't choose your friends for you, but I hope that you will continue to find ones that appreciate who you are.
You had a good first year in public school. I was worried about whether it would be challenging enough for you, and it wasn't always, but you did a great job anyway. Everyone at the school who knows you tells me how great you are, and it makes me so happy to know that they are seeing what I see. This year has intensified your love for reading - in fact you told me that your favorite place at school is the library. I can definitely relate to that!
I wish that I could sweep away your insecurities. You still have periods of shyness when going in to a new situation with a lot of people. You get very embarrassed if you know that you did something wrong, and there are other people around who saw. But more and more as you gather new experiences your confidence grows.
Every time I hear this song on the radio, the beginning makes me think about you, and the way that I feel. I love you, Claire-bear, and I can't wait to see what the next year brings!