Thursday, July 11, 2013

To Clare, on Her First Birthday

{Written during the nap she didn't take yesterday, bien sur.}

Dearest Clare,

I don't know if this feeling is true of all parents, or only first-time parents, but I cannot believe how fast this year has gone. I cannot believe how big and smart and capable you are.  If I didn't believe that life is a precious miracle before you were born, certainly I believe it now. I understand now what people mean about not knowing how much you love until you have a child. God is so good.

You were born during a dust storm, and came home during a thunderstorm. It seems fitting that you turn one in the rain.

Too cute not to.

We're in St. Louis, part of the big adventure that is part of Daddy's last year of medical school. You won't remember this, except in pictures and in stories, but I hope you remember the message of this: to pursue your dreams, to put family first, to live this adventure that is life. Sometimes it's scary. Sometimes it's a risk. But if you're listening to God, He will provide and protect.

You are a beacon of light. I hope you never stop smiling or inviting others to share in your joy. You love babies and puppies and animals. You are the 'appiest baby in the world . . . until you are not. Then you scream. You love to eat and devour most anything you can get your hands (and 5 teeth!) on. You talk up a storm. I can't wait to hear what you have to say when we understand more than a few words!

You have a headstrong, independent, perfectionist streak. Even though you are totally capable of walking, you won't let go and do it until you are ready. I know that when you do, you will take off running, both literally and figuratively.

You love to learn and explore. Everyone comments on how curious and nosy you are. You love books already. You want to be in the middle of everything, to not miss a thing. I hope you never lose that thirst.

I look forward to learning what the next year holds for us. I don't know where we'll be celebrating your 2nd birthday, but do I know that you will still be delighting and surprising me.

I love you so much. I pray that you have the happiest of birthdays and that the year to come is full of joy, health, and innumerable blessings.

Love always and forever,

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