It's amazing how you can love two children so differently, yet so very completely. When I was pregnant with Claire I had a fear many second-time parents have...will I love her as much as the first? The answer is, "God yes! And in such a new and awesome way from the first!" These are two different human beings, of course I'm not going to love them the same way. I just love them both the way they need to be loved.
Two years ago, Claire burst into our lives 10 days early and with little fuss. I went to bed as normal the night before her birthday, and at 8:30 am we were holding her in our arms, slightly shocked at what had just happened, but already in love.
I was so nervous to introduce Claire to Anna, certain that I had just ruined her life as she was no longer the only center of our universe. But, again, my fears were unfounded. Anna marched herself into the hospital room that morning demanding "where's my sister?", and they've been an unstoppable team ever since.
Claire has brought so much joy into our world. She is the happiest child I've known and truly has zest for life that brings smiles to everyone around her. She is affectionate, snuggly and loves throwing her arms around my neck and kissing me square on the lips. This kid really loves life, and seeing this as a parent brings me insurmountable joy.
Claire has changed so much this year...from baby to toddler. From helpless to determined. From straight-ish hair to spiral curls. Along with her joy, Claire has some serious spunk! She let's her needs be known, she doesn't let Anna get away with picking on her, and she does everything just a little louder than most would deem necessary. She is her own person through and through. And oh oh oh how I love this little person.
Happy Birthday Sweet Claire Bear. You are my Bear, my Muppet, my Monkey, my Bear Bear, my very heart and soul. I love you so much. I can't wait to see where this next year brings you.